Washington: Do you eat a hearty breakfast in the morning and then skip a few meals thinking it will help you lose weight? Think again. There is no good evidence to support the idea that eating breakfast promotes weight loss or that skipping breakfast leads to weight gain, finds a review published in The BMJ on Thursday.
In fact, the study shows that daily calorie intake is higher in people eating breakfast and that skipping breakfast does not cause greater appetite later in the day.
The study further says that their review questions the popular recommendation that eating breakfast can help with weight control.
While previous studies have suggested that eating breakfast is linked to maintaining a healthy weight, a team from Monash University in Melbourne analysed the effect of regularly eating breakfast on weight change and daily energy intake and found that total daily energy intake was higher in groups who ate breakfast compared with those who skipped it (an average of 260 more calories consumed in a day) regardless of their usual breakfast habits.
The results of the study showed that those who skipped breakfast were on average 0.44 kg lighter.
However, the effect of breakfast on weight did not differ between people with normal weight and those who were overweight.
While previous studies have suggested that eating breakfast may help with weight loss because of the efficient burning of calories early in the day preventing overeating, later on, reviewers found no significant difference in metabolic rates between breakfast eaters and skippers.
Furthermore, despite common belief, skipping breakfast was not linked to people feeling hungrier in the afternoon.
Study authors argue that “currently, the available evidence does not support modifying diets in adults to include the consumption of breakfast as a good strategy to lose weight.”
“Although eating breakfast regularly could have other important effects, caution is needed when recommending breakfast for weight loss in adults, as it may have the opposite effect,” they conclude.