Weight loss is not influenced by either eating breakfast regularly or skipping it, says a new study led by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
The study looked at if skipping breakfast or changing breakfast habits would influence the weight of adults trying lose weight. In the past, research has shown that weight could be affected by how frequently a person eats breakfast. However, this study shows otherwise.
“Previous studies have mostly demonstrated correlation, but not necessarily causation,” said lead study author Emily Dhurandhar, Ph.D.
“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,” she said.
She wanted to make sure the study gives people the correct information about breakfast habits, as well as correct information about weight loss. The trial took 16 weeks and looked at 309 obese or overweight adults. The adults ranged from ages 20 to 65, and were all relatively healthy, besides being overweight.
A control group, which consisted of both breakfast eaters and breakfast skippers, were merely given information on nutrition. Meanwhile, a experimental groups were told to either eat breakfast or to skip it. At the end of the trial, Dhurandhar said that the treatment assignments had no identifiable effect on weight loss. In other words – skipping breakfast does not help people lose weight.
The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.