Does skipping breakfast help you lose weight? No.

One third of people in developed countries skip breakfast

With about one third of people in developed countries skipping breakfast we should ask if it is healthy, or ask the really tough questions that real people want to know, does skipping breakfast help you lose weight?

What does research say?

Sorry to disappoint, but the evidence doesn't give a clear picture. However, that is largely do to poor study design. We are taking the stance that breakfast is an important meal not to be skipped.

☝️ ☝️ Healthy Breakfast Above 🔥🔥

We pulled together a few research findings to illustrate the benefits of breakfast and pitfalls of skipping it.

  1. Skipping breakfast had a greater influence on both waist circumference and BMI than eating dinner less than three hours before bed.

  2. Skipping breakfast associated with significantly increased risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease.

  3. Skipping breakfast associated with annual changes in BMI and waist circumference, and eating breakfast four times per week may prevent the excessive body weight gain associated with skipping breakfast.

  4. Breakfast skipping is associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

  5. The habit of eating breakfast was associated with a lower risk of hypertension among healthy (Korean) adults.

Food quality is important.

☝️☝️ Unhealthy refined carbohydrate breakfast😞😞

What you eat in the morning is possibly more important than whether or not you eat. Therefore, put down the bagel, white bread, jam and juices loaded with added sugar. Try to find low glycemic index foods that are rich in protein to provide energy and satiety until your next meal proper. Research shows that following that advice will lead to better health status and prevention of disease, especially metabolic and liver disorders, in the long term.

Evidence not enough?

In her recent health perspective published in JAMA (01May2019) Rita Rubin, MA wrote about this exact question with superior insight and writing. We suggest reading her article here. In the conclusion of her perspective she leaves room for those demanding more robust evidence by quoting Heather Leidy, PhD, of the Purdue University nutrition science department saying,

“We simply do not have enough evidence to support or reject the idea as to whether breakfast impacts body weight,” she said. “With that said, there is increasing evidence supporting the effects of breakfast on weight management–related outcomes, including things like appetite control, food cravings, satiety, and snacking behavior.”

Though Leidy does advocate protein consumption at breakfast for improved glucose control, appetite control, eating behavior, and diet quality.

Sources:

  1. Association of Skipping Breakfast With Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality Shuang Rong, Linda G. Snetselaar, Guifeng Xu, Yangbo Sun, Buyun Liu, Robert B. Wallace, Wei Bao Journal of the American College of Cardiology 
  2. Aurélie Ballon, Manuela Neuenschwander, Sabrina Schlesinger, Breakfast Skipping Is Associated with Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes among Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort StudiesThe Journal of Nutrition, Volume 149, Issue 1, January 2019, Pages 106–113, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxy194
  3. Kamada I, Truman L, Bold J, Mortimore D. The impact of breakfast in metabolic and digestive healthGastroenterol Hepatol Bed Bench. 2011;4(2):76–85.
  4. Rubin R. Does Skipping Breakfast Lead to Weight Loss or Weight Gain? JAMA. 2019;321(19):1857–1858. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.2927

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