Study Shows Breakfast Might Not Be the Most Important Meal of the Day After All

Widely-held opinions on the benefits of breakfast might be the result of marketing campaigns

Flickr / Tella Chen / CC BY 2.0

Results showed that skipping breakfast did not affect fat levels or cause weight gain.

The so-called most important meal of the day might not be as important as we have been made to think.

Dr. James Betts, senior lecturer in nutrition at the University of Bath, says that the commonly held belief that breakfast is “inherently good for us” might be the product of marketing campaigns rather than actual scientific fact. He says, “The problem is that these benefits although logical sounding, are largely assumptions based on observational studies and had never actually been tested,” quotes The Telegraph.

For his study, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Betts had one group eat a breakfast of 700 calories or more, and another only drank water until lunch. Those that had skipped breakfast indeed ate more at lunch, however it was not enough to make up for the 700+ calories they missed from breakfast. It was also found that skipping breakfast had no effect on fat levels, nor did it make people gain more weight.

The people that skipped breakfast compensated by preserving energy by fidgeting less at their desk or taking the elevator over the stairs, while those that ate breakfast burned off the extra calories by fidgeting more and participating in light exercise.

Though eating breakfast might not be essential, it may still be a good idea for those who are hungry in the mornings, athletes, and if you are doing something where you need to perform well, such as a job interview.

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