Breakfast Isn't Always the Most Important Meal of the Day, Says Scientist.

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There was a time when skipping breakfast was nothing short of dietary blasphemy. But recently, breakfast’s status as the “most important meal of the day” has come under some scrutiny, especially its key role in common weight loss strategies. Proponents of the idea that eating breakfast is important for weight loss to have just dealt another blow. An analysis of 13 studies published Wednesday suggests there’s no reason to force breakfast upon yourself if weight loss is your goal.

Lead study author and clinical epidemiologist Flavia Cicuttini, Ph.D., tells Inverse that breakfast’s reputation for weight loss is built on two main pillars: the idea that eating breakfast can keep you satiated for longer (which leads to less overall caloric intake) and the idea that eating in the morning actually increases the rate of calorie burning throughout the day. While there are numerous studies that have demonstrated this individually, her analysis of 13 of them, published in the BMJ, suggests that the combined findings actually don’t support these two concepts.“The key message is that if a person likes to eat breakfast, that is fine,” she tells Inverse. “However, there is no evidence that we should be encouraging people to change their eating pattern to include breakfast in order to prevent weight gain or obesity.”Cicuttini, a professor at Australia’s Monash University, adds that although previous studies have shown that eating breakfast leads to weight loss, many of those conclusions were based on observational studies. This makes it impossible to completely rule out the idea that weight loss can’t be attributed to other aspects of the participants’ lives, like healthier eating patterns or healthier lifestyles. That’s not to say that their findings aren’t legitimate, but maybe it’s enough to warrant taking a second look at whether breakfast promotes weight loss.
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When Cicuttini grouped all the data from the past observational studies together, she found that, on average, people who ate breakfast ate approximately 260 more calories per day than those who didn’t and that those who skipped breakfast were actually slightly lighter — but only by a very small amount (roughly one pound). Still, her paper indicates that these results are enough to cast doubt on the two pillars of the breakfast for weight loss dogma. It’s not a surefire way to curb calorie intake throughout the day or jumpstart metabolism.“Over the years I was often struck by the number of patients who sought help for their weight and were advised to eat breakfast as part of their weight management plan, some who even felt obliged to force themselves to eat breakfast, even if they didn’t feel like doing this,” says Cicuttini. Importantly, Cicuttini’s study is not evidence that abandoning breakfast is a good idea for everyone. For some people, breakfast may still have important implications for health, regardless of what a morning meal may or may not do for weight loss. As examples, she suggests that children who need to concentrate in school benefit from a morning meal, as do athletes who find that a meal helps improve a workout. Diabetics may also need to maintain a certain eating schedule to manage medications and blood sugar spikes.Image result for BREAKFAST
The Case for Eating When You Want to the point of Cicuttini’s paper is that the evidence suggesting that breakfast isn’t the silver bullet for weight loss that it may have once appeared to be. Rather, it might be better to embrace your preferences when it comes to food timing, which Tim Spector, Ph.D., professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London, adds in his accompanying commentary. Spector is also the scientific founder of a personalized nutrition company, Zoe Global Ltd. In his commentary, Spector adds that the circadian clocks that help our bodies regulate when to burn energy and when to intake more are highly individualized. If your specific biological rhythm doesn’t leave you craving an early morning meal, he suggests it’s not worth forcing one down for the sake of weight loss.