Eating five meals a day - breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks - protects children against obesity, according to new research.
The study of more than 4,000 Finnish youngsters followed participants from before birth up until the age of 16 and aimed to identify early life risk factors for obesity.
It also investigated any association between the condition and meal frequency. The study found that both boys and girls who stuck to a regular five meal a day regime were at less risk of being overweight and obese.
Moreover, the eating pattern zapped the effect of the common fat causing genetic variants whereas missing breakfast was associated with greater BMI and waist circumference.
The findings were published in International Journal of Obesity.