Published: Sat, February 02, 2019
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

Eating breakfast may not lead to weight loss

Eating breakfast may not lead to weight loss

There's a persistent myth that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day", one that may have been heavily influenced by early marketing campaigns involving breakfast cereals.

Experts from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, examined 13 randomized controlled trials related to breakfast and weight in high income countries, including the United Kingdom. It also challenges studies that suggest skipping breakfast can disrupt the body's internal clock and lead to weight gain. These studies are usually observational, though, meaning they only look for indirect associations between two things (in this example, eating or skipping breakfast and weight loss or less obesity) in a decent-sized group of people.

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

In reality - the results found very small differences in weight between those who ate breakfast and those who did not.

Eating breakfast has always been upheld as a weight loss strategy - but the latest research suggests you may be better off without it.

The authors highlight that because of the varying quality of the studies included, the findings should be interpreted with caution.

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.

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The authors say it'll take more research, preferably from large, high-quality trials, to be completely sure of anything. Another question relates to whether breakfast is a necessary component in weight loss strategies.

Several trials were also conducted to examine the effect of eating or skipping breakfast on bodyweight and energy intake. Eat if you're hungry and if you'e not, don't worry about it.

In the new review, the researchers analyzed information from 13 previous studies in which participants were randomly assigned to either eat breakfast or skip breakfast. "It has the same impact on your calorie intake if you have it for breakfast as though you have it at 4pm".

"I don't feel the findings are robust enough to recommend [skipping breakfast] as a weight-loss strategy for most people", Hunnes told Live Science.

What's more, the scientists concluded skipping breakfast does not reduce appetite during the day, as previously thought. On average, those who skipped breakfast were a pound lighter than those who did not.

The trainer to stars such as Margot Robbie, Claudia Schiffer, and Colin Firth is an advocate of time-restricted eating, also known as intermittent fasting, whereby you limit your window of consumption to, ideally, eight hours.

It said eating breakfast regularly could have other important effects, such as improved concentration and attentiveness levels in children. And nor will opting for avocado, rolled oats and other healthy breakfast options help if they're supersized portions.

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