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Breakfast does not lead to Weight Loss, Study Reports

Update Date: Jun 05, 2014 09:28 AM EDT
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For years health experts have recommended people of all ages to eat a big and nutritious breakfast. Based on studies, eating breakfast can speed up metabolism, which contributes to weight loss. According to a new study, the first meal of the day might actually not be tied to weight loss for adults.

For this study, the researchers recruited 309 adults who were trying to lose weight. The participants were divided into three groups. In the first group, called the control group, the researchers gave the participants a pamphlet, "Let's Eat for the Health of It" created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The second group received the same pamphlet and was told to eat breakfast before 10 in the morning every single day. The third group also got the pamphlet but was told to only drink water until 11 a.m. The participants were followed for 16 weeks and had their weights measured.

Overall, 283 adults finished the study. The researchers discovered that all three groups lost relatively the same amount of weight. They concluded that eating a healthy breakfast did not boost weight loss. However, the researchers cautioned that the study had a couple of limitations. First, the researchers did not control what the participants ate. Second, they did not measure the participants' appetite, body fat or metabolism. Third, the time span of the study can be considered very short.

"This should be a wake-up call for all of us to always ask for evidence about the recommendations we hear so widely offered," David Allison, director of the UAB Nutrition Obesity Research Center, said according to CNN.

"Long-term, [skipping breakfast] is not the best strategy," Keith Ayoob, an associate clinical professor of pediatrics and director of the Nutrition Clinic at the Children's Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York said according to CBS News. Ayoob was not involved with this study. "You may not want to eat breakfast, but you need all the nutrients that breakfast can provide."

The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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