Breakfast study research has revealed that the once “most important meal of the day” isn’t that important after all. In fact, it’s just another meal.
The revelations come from a study conducted by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).
The Tech Times reports that “regularly eating breakfast is no better for weight loss than skipping the meal.”
More from their report:
“The 16-week trial, which was conducted on multiple sites throughout the world, including Boston, comprised 309 adults, ages 20 to 65, who were all overweight or obese. One group was told to skip breakfast, another was directed to eat breakfast each day, and there was also a control group of breakfast skippers and eaters who were only given general nutrional information.
“Emily Dhurandhar, the study’s lead author, said that the assignments had no effects on weight loss.”
In a release from UAB News, it was revealed that while an association exists between breakfast and weight management, the question of whether eating versus skipping breakfast causes differences in weight can be answered with a no.
Dhurandhar told the news site, “Previous studies have mostly demonstrated correlation, but not necessarily causation…. 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.”
“Now that we know the general recommendation of ‘eat breakfast every day’ has no differential impact on weight loss, we can move forward with studying other techniques for improved 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.”
More on the breakfast study from UAB News:
There were several study limitations… First, the study only measured body weight as an outcome, so she says they cannot conclude anything about the impact of breakfast recommendations on appetite or more detailed measures of body fat or metabolism.
“In addition, our study was 16 weeks in duration, which is longer than many previous studies; but it is not clear whether an effect of the recommendation would be clearer from an even longer duration study,” Dhurandhar said. “Finally, we gave subjects a recommendation of what a healthy breakfast is, but left their choices of breakfast foods up to their discretion.”
Dhurandhar says because their objective was to test the effect of breakfast very generally, they cannot conclude anything about a particular kind or quantity of breakfast food, but says there may be certain kinds of breakfast foods that are helpful. She believes future studies could consider whether more specific breakfast recommendations may be more effective for influencing weight loss.
“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, Ph.D., director of the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center and senior investigator on the project. “This should be a wake-up call for all of us to always ask for evidence about the recommendations we hear so widely offered.”
What about you, readers? Will the results of the breakfast study change how you go about planning your meals?
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