Eating breakfast has no clinically relevant effect bioimpedance analysis (BIA) in healthy adults. This is evident from research by scientists at Radboud university medical center, including a dietician researcher Dr. Heidi Zweers.
Bio-impedance analysis (BIA) is a commonly used method to evaluate body composition as part of nutritional assessment. The current ESPEN directive recommends performing BIA measurements in patients in a fasting state for at least 2 hours in a clinical setting and 8 hours in a research setting. Because it is not desirable to ask patients with malnutrition or sarcopenia to fast and there is no good literature supporting the strategy in the guideline, researchers at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen have investigated the influence of breakfast on BIA measurements.
Execution of the research
The study involved 39 healthy adults (18 to 70 years), with a normal fluid balance and a BMI between 18.5 and 30. In the study, the BIA measurements were performed according to the standard procedure in a fasting state, and 1, 2, 3 and 4 hours after ingestion of a standardized breakfast meal. This breakfast contained approximately 400 kcal and a 150 ml drink. The researchers used the hand-to-food single-frequency BIA (Bodystat500®) for the measurements.
Minimal differences in fat-free mass
The researchers discovered that food influences the results of single-frequency BIA measurements (the most commonly used BIA measurement, ed.), but that these differences in fat-free mass have no clinically relevant impact in 90 percent of the participants. The largest difference in fat-free mass (0.2 kg or 0.4 percent compared to the fasting state) was observed when measuring 3 hours after breakfast. No statistically significant differences were found at the other time points. The researchers conclude that a sober BIA measurement is therefore not necessary.
Source: Nutrition Journal