Skipping the Big Breakfast Will Make You Skinny, Study Says

Feb 1 2011 - 10:30am
Breakfast

Contrary to popular beliefs, eating a big breakfast may actually cause you to eat more calories throughout the day, according to a study published in the January edition of Nutrition Journal.

Weight loss and nutrition authorities in the United States have historically supported the belief that breakfast is, indeed, the most important meal of the day. Numerous studies have been done on the relationship between breakfast and overall health and most results favor eating a big breakfast.

A healthy morning breakfast is believed to support weight loss by making you feel fuller longer, thus reducing you overall daily caloric intake. German researchers however, decided to challenge this theory in their study.

The researchers looked at 280 obese and 100 normal weight subjects. They measured the total daily caloric intake of both groups over the course of approximately two weeks. What the researchers found was that the higher the caloric intake at breakfast the greater overall daily caloric intake in both obese and normal weight subjects. Furthermore, the study revealed that on days where the subjects decreased their breakfast caloric intake, their overall intake for the day was decreased as well.

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The conclusion of the study's report stated, “Reduced breakfast [caloric] intake is associated with lower total daily intake. Therefore, overweight and obese subjects should consider the reduction of breakfast calories as a simple option to improve their daily [calorie]energy balance.”

The results of the study are both valid and interesting, but don’t include the consideration of overall health or weight loss into its design. Although, the subjects ate fewer calories throughout the day when they had smaller or no breakfast, there is no evaluation on the weight loss or gain of the subjects. Furthermore, previous studies have shown that people who eat breakfast have more successful long-term weight loss, have more efficient morning mental function, and healthier metabolisms.

As the study concludes, perhaps skipping a big breakfast will help help you reduce your overall daily caloric intake. However, further research is needed to help determine whether or not avoiding this important meal is the key to long term weight loss.

Image source: Flickr (available for commercial reuse)

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