The Breakfast Debate

Is breakfast all its cracked up to be? A study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that the metabolic rates of breakfast eaters and non-breakfast eaters were no different. These results contribute to the recent findings of another team reporting when overweight and obese participants were asked to either skip or eat breakfast, both groups lost the same amount of weight.

The most recent study was conducted at the University of Bath and included 33 participants who were instructed to eat 700 calories before 11 am or skip the food completely. Researchers then recorded metabolic markers (including metabolic rate, cholesterol and blood glucose) to examine any differences between the groups. Interestingly, they found none. They did find that skippers ate fewer total calories during the day, contradicting the popular notion that those who do not eat breakfast tend to consume more calories later to make up for that loss. Researchers also found that those who skipped breakfast burned fewer calories throughout the day, while those who did eat breakfast tended to be active in the morning, thus burning those calories eaten.

While the results of these studies are interesting, they were conducted over a short period of time and therefore are unable to tell us the long-term effects of skipping breakfast. A larger study conducted by Harvard last year over a period of 16 years determined that skipping breakfast increased the risk of coronary heart disease by 27%. This link, researchers determined, was likely due to the effects of extended fasting.

According to Forbes, the take away of these studies varies for each individual.

If you wake up famished and can’t make it more than an hour without feeling woozy, you should probably eat breakfast. But if you don’t even think about eating till midday, then you’re probably fine to skip it. There’s so much individual variation in nutrition and metabolism that the idea that eating breakfast is either a good thing or a bad thing is getting pretty hard to swallow.

Consumers should ask their doctor/nutritionist what the best course of action for them to take is.

 

Read more here- “Why Breakfast May Not Be The Most Important Meal of the Day,” (Alice Walton, Forbes)

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Olivia is a graduate of Villanova University where she studied Economics and History, minoring in Gender and Women's Studies. She also has experience working with federal legislatures on health care policy, women's issues, and Internet safety.

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