Many dietary experts stress the importance of eating a hearty breakfast every day, as it is thought to kick start a person’s energy, help individuals maintain a healthy weight and even encourage weight loss.
But new research from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is challenging that theory, finding that regularly skipping breakfast did not influence weight loss or weight gain in a group of study participants, Medical News Today reported.
The new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, followed 309 otherwise-healthy overweight and obese adults over a 16-week time period. During that time, some experimental groups were told to skip breakfast and others were told to eat breakfast. A separate control group was comprised of both breakfast eaters and breakfast skippers, but they were given health nutrition advice without any mention of breakfast.
Overall, the researchers found no significant weight loss between the breakfast skippers and the breakfast eaters. They hope their findings will dispel perpetuated myths surrounding weight loss techniques.
"The field of obesity and weight loss is full of commonly held beliefs that have not been subjected to rigorous testing; we have now found that one such belief does not seem to hold up when tested," said David Allison, director of the UAB Nutrition Obesity Center and senior investigator on the study.
Allison and his team hope to do more research to understand why eating or skipping breakfast did not influence weight loss, which may help others to re-evaluate what is important for a healthy diet.