The Most Important Meal of the Day?

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New Study Says Breakfast May Not Matter

Written by Taylor Smith | Healthy-Mag.com

For years and years, mothers and nutritionist everywhere have told us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Their explanations have been many and more—“It will boost your metabolism!” or “You won’t eat as much at lunch!” and so on.

A new study, recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is suggesting that breakfast may indeed be very skip-able—at least for adults trying to lose weight.

Interestingly enough, the study found that dieters who skipped breakfast lost just as much weight as those who ate breakfast over the same period of time. The researchers were quick to add that breakfast has many health benefits, but weight loss simply isn’t one of them.

The study

A group of 309 adults who were interested in losing weight were split into three groups by researchers.

The control group was given a USDA pamphlet titled “Let’s Eat for the Health of It” that described good nutrition habits, but made no mention at all of breakfast or its supposed weight loss benefits. Another group received the same pamphlet and was instructed to eat breakfast before 10 a.m. every day. The last group received the pamphlet as well and was told to avoid consuming anything but water until 11 a.m.

These individuals were monitored for 16 weeks by researchers who recorded their weight and any changes throughout the study.

The results

Of the 309 participants, 283 completed the study. On average, the three groups lost the same amount of weight, which confirmed that eating breakfast (or not) had no significant effect.

“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, told CNN.com

The takeaway

So, should we just get rid of breakfast altogether? No so fast. Researchers found that eating breakfast didn’t help people lose more weight, but it didn’t hurt them either. As long as we’re making healthy choices for breakfast, such as oatmeal, fruits, vegetables and dairy, a breakfast routine can be more beneficial than detrimental

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