News article

How Does Skipping Breakfast Impact Weight Loss?

Posted:  Tuesday, June 10, 2014

It is a universal fact that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Having breakfast on time kicks off the metabolism process and prepares you for the rest of the day. Nutritionists the world over strongly recommend that we should have breakfast as part of a healthy lifestyle.

However, a new study conducted by the University of Alabama, Birmingham, challenges this declaration.

Nutritionists are of the view that skipping breakfast usually ends up in an individual consuming more and more unhealthy snacks and eat more than the necessary quantity for the future meals. The British Health Foundation, in their article on dieting myths has stated: "Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can make you feel tired and hungry and more likely to reach for high-fat, high-calorie snacks. In fact, people who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight than those who don't."

A study reported by the ‘Medical News Today’ also found that people who skip breakfast are more likely to succumb to the temptations of high-calorie food. This is because fasting is quite possibly creates a bias to the brain to consume unhealthy options.

However there are quite a few limitations to the previous research.

Researchers at University of Alabama, Birmingham have been critical of the past studies. They’re of the opinion that the research projects at times, lack probative value which disables to contribute any additional knowledge in the area or which fails to contribute in biased research reporting, with findings which can distort the support a particular hypothesis.

The overall conclusion indicates that while indeed there is an association between breakfast skipping and obesity, it is not yet confirmed whether there exists a causal link between the two. The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It directly aims at establishing whether or not breakfast recommendations have a direct effect on weight loss.

The research examines "the impact of a recommendation to eat or skip breakfast, and the impact of switching breakfast eating habits for the study, on weight loss in adults trying to independently lose weight". 309 trials were conducted on otherwise healthy overweight and obese adults spread across multiple locations.

During a period of 16 weeks, experimental groups were particularly asked to skip breakfast while a focused group which comprised of breakfast eaters and skippers both were asked to follow healthy nutrition advice which did not include breakfast.

The researchers found that weight loss is not influenced when comparing regular consumers and those who skip breakfast. The lead study author, Emily Dhurandhar, Ph.D., Asst. Professor, Dept. of Health Behaviour, said, “We should try to understand why eating or skipping breakfast did not influence weight loss, despite evidence that breakfast may influence appetite and metabolism."

In addition, David Allison, Ph.D., director of the UAB Nutrition Obesity Center, and senior investigator said, "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."

The study will lead further investigations on weight loss and will also help in improving the quality of future studies in the field.

For study details: Click Here.