Moms always say breakfast is essential to a healthy life and diet gurus have long claimed it's key to getting those extra pounds off.
But a new study says eating breakfast, or not eating breakfast, has no impact on weight loss efforts.
The study, conducted by over a dozen researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is pretty clear: there is no correlation between that first morning meal and a weight loss initiative.
"A recommendation to eat or skip breakfast for weight loss was effective at changing self-reported breakfast eating habits, but contrary to widely espoused views this had no discernable effect on weight loss in free-living adults who were attempting to lose weight," states the study's conclusions.
The authors note that while breakfast has been associated with lower body weight in observational studies the effectiveness of such recommendations had been unknown. The research team conducted a 16-week trial with 309 healthy yet overweight and obese adults ages 20 to 65 years of age. One group ate breakfast and the other did not.
"Previous studies have mostly demonstrated correlation, but not necessarily causation," said study lead author Emily Dhurandhar, assistant professor in the Department of Health Behavior. "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."
The authors noted that there were some limitations in the study as it only measured body weight results and that participants were left to their own choices in terms of breakfast foods though they were given guidance of what a healthy breakfast involves.
"The field of obesity and weight loss is full of commonly held beliefs that have not been subjected to rigorous testing; we have now found that one such belief does not seem to hold up when tested," said David Allison, director of the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center and senior investigator on the project.
One of the most recent studies regarding obesity, as reported by Tech Times, claimed that the big issue behind the endemic obesity problem in the U.S. is too much availability and affordability of all kinds of food.
"The high cost of healthy food may not be the problem as far as obesity is concerned, rather it is the excess availability and affordability of all types of food," Roland Sturm, PhD, study report's lead author said.