Eating breakfast may help boost your early morning energy levels but may not help you weigh less, two new studies say following efforts to find the supposed relationship between breakfast and weight loss as well as breakfast and metabolism or energy balance.
The first study, The effectiveness of breakfast recommendations on weight loss: a randomized controlled trial, found that regular consumption or skipping of breakfast has no influence on weight loss.
“Previous studies have mostly demonstrated correlation, but not necessarily causation,” study’s lead author Emily Dhurandhar, Ph.D, says in a statement. “In contrast, we used a large, randomized controlled trial to examine whether or not breakfast recommendations have a causative effect on weight loss, with weight change as our primary outcome.”
Spearheaded by researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the study involved a 16-week trial on 309 adults who are healthy yet obese or overweight aged 20 to 65 years old.
There were two groups: experimental and control groups. The experimental participants were asked to skip or eat breakfast, while the control ones were merely given information on healthy nutrition. The control group consisted of both breakfast skippers and eaters.
Dhurandhar, who is also a professor at the Department of Health Behavior, found “no differential impact on weight loss.” She says such findings now lead them forward to examining other methods for better effectiveness
“We should try to understand why eating or skipping breakfast did not influence weight loss, despite evidence that breakfast may influence appetite and metabolism,” adds Dhurandhar.
Meanwhile the second study, The causal role of breakfast in energy balance and health: a randomized controlled trial in lean adults, looked into the effects of regular breakfast consumption on energy balance or metabolism as opposed with the extended morning fasting.
In the very first randomized, controlled trial dubbed as Bath Breakfast Project, people aged 21 to 60 years old were involved and randomly selected into two groups. The fasting group was those who didn’t consume calories till lunchtime daily for six weeks. The breakfast group was those who consumed at least 700 calories by 11:00 every day for six weeks, with at least first half of it expended in two hours of waking.
The Department of Health researchers discovered that breakfast eaters are likely to use more energy in daily physical activities. Yet they uncovered little impact on snacking or portion sizes latter in the day and a lack of proof of any change in inactive metabolism.
“It is certainly true that people who regularly eat breakfast tend to be slimmer and healthier but these individuals also typically follow most other recommendations for a healthy lifestyle, so have more balanced diets and take more physical exercise,” Dr. James Betts, principal Investigator, says in a statement.
Study co-author Enhad Chowdhury says further research is needed and will be interesting in examining the long-term effects of various breakfast types on weight management.
David Allison, Ph.D, a senior investigator of said project and UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center director, says the new findings should be like a wake-up call to everyone, to ask for proof always on widely offered recommendations people often hear, such as in the field of weight loss and obesity.
Both studies were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.