Big breakfast bunkum

Jan 17, 2011

Does eating a big breakfast help weight loss or is it better to skip breakfast altogether? Available information is confusing but new research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Nutrition Journal clears a path through these apparently contradictory reports.

Dr Volker Schusdziarra, from the Else-Kröner-Fresenius Center of Nutritional Medicine, conducted a study on over 300 people who were asked to keep a journal of what they usually ate. Within the group sometimes people ate a big , sometimes small, and sometimes skipped it all together.

Schusdziarra said that "the results of the study showed that people ate the same at lunch and dinner, regardless of what they had for breakfast", this means that a big breakfast (on average 400kcal greater than a small breakfast) resulted in a total increase in calories eaten over the day of about 400kcal. The only difference seen was the skipping of a mid morning snack when someone ate a really big breakfast, however this was not enough to offset the extra calories they had already eaten.

The group addressed previous research, which suggests that eating a big breakfast reduces total calorie intake over the day, and showed that this data is misleading. This earlier research only looked at the ratio of breakfast calories to daily and in Schusdziarra's study this ratio seems to be most affected by people eating less during the day. In other words their breakfast was proportionally, but not absolutely, bigger. So it seems that there is no magic and that, unfortunately, in the fight for , eating a large breakfast must be counteracted by eating substantially less during the rest of the day. In order to lose weight sensibly NHS guidelines suggest restricting calorie intake, cutting down on saturated fat and sugar, and eating 5-a-day fruit and veg.

Explore further: A new approach to cut death toll of young people in road accidents

More information: Impact of breakfast on daily energy intake – an analysis of absolute versus relative breakfast calories Volker Schusdziarra, Margit Hausmann, Claudia Wittke, Johanna Mittermeier, Marietta Kellner, Aline Naumann, Stefan Wagenpfeil, Johannes Erdmann, Nutrition Journal (in press)

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User comments : 8

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rgwalther
not rated yet Jan 17, 2011
Not one statistic on this planet applies to YOU.
gwrede
not rated yet Jan 17, 2011
Another betrayal -- even they say you should eat less!
calypso80
not rated yet Jan 17, 2011
Most of the slim people I know, don't eat breakfast. They usually have the first meal around lunch, or later. And they often have only two meals a day. Just an observation.
rgwalther
not rated yet Jan 17, 2011
In Somalia the slim people don't have meals at all.
rgwalther
not rated yet Jan 17, 2011
Only the wealthy (i.e. food surplus countries) and religious zealots make arbitrary rules about what, when and how much they can consume.

Calypso, I apologize for being a complete cynic, but the wealthy can afford to lie about their behaviours, and the fanatics must lie about their behaviours. Unless you follow a person 24/7, with a video device, there is no way to know what they actually do.
People who have food rules have never been really hungry. Religious zealots may be different, but my experience with such fanatics leads me to believe that fanatics are primarily concerned with YOUR actions and your punishments not their own.
Moebius
1 / 5 (1) Jan 17, 2011
I never believed this crud and haven't ever eaten breakfast as a habit, just occasionally. It always seemed to me like they were saying 1 and 1 and 1 = 2. The same math posters here use in many threads. Like the climate and overpopulation skeptics.

To rgwalther, they aren't lying about how much they consume so much as they use bogus arguments to justify their beliefs, like the math above.
dirk_bruere
5 / 5 (1) Jan 17, 2011
The secret is to eat a *fatty* breakfast.
That will stop you feeling hungry for much of the day and you can cut down on lunch.
ryggesogn2
3 / 5 (2) Jan 17, 2011
Depends upon what's for breakfast.
High protein low carb breakfasts are best.
Of course that is not what the govt says as it pushes its subsidized whole grain cereals.

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