Eating breakfast may not induce weight loss

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Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?

So a team from Monash University in Melbourne analysed the effect of regularly eating breakfast on weight change and daily energy intake, based on evidence from 13 randomised controlled trials, mainly in the USA and United Kingdom, from the last 28 years. Making healthy lifestyle choices, eating balanced meals and getting active as often as possible will probably be more effective in helping you lose weight than skipping breakfast. "If a person is trying to lose weight or manage their calorie intake there's no evidence that changing their dietary plan to eat breakfast will help them". Those who ate breakfast also ate more calories per day - about 260 more on average. "Caution is needed when recommending breakfast for weight loss in adults, as it could have the opposite effect".

Kevin Murphy, professor of endocrinology and metabolism at Imperial College London, said in an email to CNN that the study's "analysis suggests that eating breakfast is, on average, likely to make it more hard to lose weight, as you eat more calories during the day".

However, the study's authors stress that the quality of the evidence is low - the results of the 13 trials differed wildly, and may not generalise to everyone - so their finding should be "interpreted with caution".

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Public health agencies and official eating guidelines have long stressed the importance of eating breakfast to lose weight and achieve a healthy diet but "this study clearly shows that isn't a good idea", said lead author Dr Flavia Cicuttini, professor of epidemiology at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. "There are lots of reasons why people eat breakfast - growing children might want to eat before they go to school, older people might need to eat after taking medication or it could be a cultural tradition", she says.

Previous research has shown weight loss benefits of sticking to a morning meal. Writing in the British Medical Journal, they said: 'This study suggests that the addition of breakfast might not be a good strategy for weight loss, regardless of established breakfast habit.

However, Spector (himself a breakfast eater) acknowledged that time-restricted feeding is a "young discipline" that may only prove effective for "certain people". These were an average of 0.44 kilograms lighter.

In what may be sad news for lovers of eggs, avocado, and oatmeal, a new study has concluded that people who skip breakfast tend to weigh less than those who eat a morning meal.

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They also failed to find a link between people skipping breakfast and subsequently feeling hungrier later in the day.

For example, patients diagnosed with diabetes may have to stick to a certain eating schedule to prevent spikes in blood sugar.

"If you do enjoy breakfast, don't stop, but take a look at what you are having". There was also no evidence that they were less likely to overeat later in the day.

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