Study finds eating breakfast may have little impact on weight loss


We've been told for decades that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for those watching their weight.

Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but eating it won't help you lose weight, research suggests.

Monash University in Melbourne reviewed 13 studies from the last 28 years in high income countries around the world, including the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, examining weight and energy intake from breakfast consumption.

If you're trying to lose weight you've probably been told not to skip breakfast, as it could make you hungrier later in the day. Apart from higher intake of calories, it was also observed that skipping breakfast does not cause greater appetite later in the day.

While those who opted to eat breakfast, ate an average of around 260 more calories per day.

Researchers said that people who followed these two behaviours were less likely to gain weight and had a smaller waist circumference.

Kevin Murphy, professor of endocrinology and metabolism at Imperial College London, said in an email to CNN that the study's "analysis suggests that eating breakfast is, on average, likely to make it more hard to lose weight, as you eat more calories during the day".

But one expert admits that the quality of the trials did vary.

A new review study finds no strong evidence to support the ideas that eating breakfast helps with weight loss or that skipping breakfast promotes weight gain.

The reason breakfast was being recommended was not particularly for weight loss.

Indeed, the researchers cautioned that numerous studies included in the review had notable limitations.

Previous studies have suggested that eating breakfast is linked with maintaining a healthy weight, but these findings have been observational and may reflect an individual's wider healthy lifestyle and food choices. Writing in the British Medical Journal, they said: 'This study suggests that the addition of breakfast might not be a good strategy for weight loss, regardless of established breakfast habit.

"This study does not say breakfast is bad for the health", he said.

The research also shows that you don't have to eat a good breakfast in order to set you up for the day or to stop you from getting hangry later in afternoon.

'So all in all, the benefit you may get from a slightly reduced calorie intake skipping breakfast will be far outweighed by the negative effects'.

"I think the key to weight loss is the number of calories you eat", said Cicuttini.

Several trials were also conducted to examine the effect of eating or skipping breakfast on bodyweight and energy intake.

For example, patients diagnosed with diabetes may have to stick to a certain eating schedule to prevent spikes in blood sugar. And nor will opting for avocado, rolled oats and other healthy breakfast options help if they're supersized portions.