Eating breakfast regularly or skipping it has no effect on weight loss: Study

10 June 2014

Eating breakfast regularly or skipping it has no bearing on weight loss, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Alabama, at Birmingham.

The study looked at whether skipping breakfast or changing breakfast habits would influence the weight of adults trying to lose weight. Past, research had shown that weight could be affected by how frequently a person ate breakfast.

Online journal The Westside reported lead study author Emily Dhurandhar, PhD, as saying that previous studies had mostly demonstrated correlation, but not necessarily causation.

In contrast, the researchers used a large, randomised controlled trial to examine whether or not breakfast recommendation had a causative effect on weight loss, with weight change as the primary outcome.

She wanted to ensure that the study gave people the correct information about breakfast habits, as also correct information about weight loss. The trial took 16 weeks and looked at 309 obese or overweight adults, with their ages varying from 20 to 65, all relatively healthy, besides being overweight.

According to past breakfast research, which included an examination of 92 studies about the proposed effect of breakfast on obesity also performed at UAB, while an association existed between breakfast and weight management, the question of whether eating versus skipping breakfast caused differences in weight had not been answered by research, until now.

The new study examined the impact of a recommendation to eat or skip breakfast, as also the impact of switching breakfast eating habits, on weight loss.

According to Dhurandhar, it was important to test the common recommendation to eat breakfast to ensure that public health message was effective and not misleading about what would and would not help with weight loss efforts ANI reported.

According to Dhurandhar, there was no identifiable effect of treatment assignment on weight loss.

The study has been featured in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


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