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Diet: daily breakfast more difficult when losing weight?

Diet: daily breakfast more difficult when losing weight?


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Breakfast or not? That is the question

Breakfast is healthy, but according to a recent review study it does not necessarily help with weight control. Australian scientists had studied the effect of regular breakfasts on body weight and the daily energy intake of adults. To this end, they put 13 intervention studies from the past three decades, especially from the USA and Great Britain, to the test.

Subjects with different body mass index (BMI) were involved in the investigations and were accompanied for 24 hours up to 16 weeks depending on the study design. The BMI is a common measure for estimating body weight and indicates the ratio of weight (in kg) to body size (in m to square).

Previously, it was assumed that eating breakfast regularly would help you lose weight and that not eating in the morning would encourage food cravings and weight gain. The new study results could not confirm this assumption.

After evaluating the data, breakfasters even consumed more calories throughout the day than non-breakfasters. It was an average of 260 calories, regardless of individual eating habits. This was also noticeable on the scales: those who missed the first meal of the day had an average weight that was 0.44 kg lower. The effect was similar for normal and overweight people. There were no detectable differences in the metabolic rates of breakfasts and breakfast muffins.

However, the scientists point out that the studies examined were often of poor quality. The results should therefore be interpreted with caution and underpinned by long-term studies. In addition, the first meal of the day can also have other health and wellbeing benefits, the doctors write in the journal “British Medical Journal”.

A balanced breakfast provides the brain with energy for the day. "Those who leave the house without food are generally less concentrated and less productive at school and in the office," explains Harald Seitz, nutritionist at the Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE). "Whole grain bread, chopped fruit or vegetables and dairy products provide fuel for the gray matter." An alternative to sweet corn flakes is porridge or a muesli with cereal flakes, nuts, fruits and yoghurt. “Breakfast muffle can have a glass of fruit juice, a smoothie or a drink depending on their taste, because liquids slide better. It's better than nothing, ”advises Seitz. Source: British Medical Journal (BMJ), online publication (BMJ 2019; 364: l42).

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