Thinking of skipping breakfast? The weighing scale doesn't care


To have or not to have breakfast has remained a debatable question, but a recent study suggests that eating breakfast everyday has no differential effect on weight loss.

Breakfast is considered by many as the most important meal of the day. A recent study called "The effectiveness of breakfast recommendations on weight loss: a randomized controlled trial" was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition last Wednesday, June 4. The study indicates that people who skipped their breakfast lost a similar amount of weight when compared to people who regularly ate breakfast. The study concludes that eating breakfast has many health benefits; however, weight loss cannot be considered as one of them.

"We thought it was important to test this commonly held assumption," says lead author Emily Dhurandhar in an email to Forbes. "Since short-term studies suggest that eating breakfast may help regulate appetite and metabolism, it has often been assumed that this would translate to breakfast enhancing weight loss."

The researchers conducted a trial on 309 adult participants who wanted to lose weight. The researchers divided the participants in three groups.

Out of the three groups, one of the groups just received a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) pamphlet, which was entitled "Let's Eat for the Health of It." The pamphlet defined healthy and nutritious habits but did not mention breakfast at all. The group was neither asked to eat or skip breakfast. The researchers also handed the same pamphlet to the second control group and asked them to eat breakfast before 10 a.m. every day. The third group also received the pamphlet and the researchers asked them to refrain from eating anything before 11 a.m.

The researchers conducted the trial on the participants for 16 weeks and took note of their weight during the study period.

Out of the total 309 participants, 283 participants completed the 16-week study. After analyzing the weight of all the participants, the researchers found that on an average all three groups lost nearly the same amount of weight. The result shows that eating or skipping breakfast had no major effect on people who want to lose weight.

However, some researchers still believe that skipping breakfast is not ideal and the results of the recent study should be treated with caution. A person may not want to eat breakfast but the body needs all the nutrients included in what is often said to be the most important meal of the day. 

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