Eating breakfast 'not a good strategy' for weight loss

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"Breakfast has the potential to be one of the easiest times of the day to eat a balanced meal, and to meet a number of nutrition targets".

Those who eat breakfast were found to have a higher energy consumption during the day (an average of 260 more calories) compared to those who skipped the morning meal.

Some previous studies have suggested that people who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight than people who skip the morning meal.

Habitual and non-habitual breakfast eaters were studied while test subjects with a range of body weights were assessed over periods ranging from 24 hours to 16 weeks.

Rather, the review found that people who ate breakfast consumed more calories during the day and weighed slightly more than people who skipped the morning meal.

And the results showed that those who skipped breakfast were on average one pound (0.44 kilos) lighter. They're saying that if you make healthy lifestyle and food choices - then eating breakfast won't have a detrimental effect on your weight.

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The researchers said their review questions the popular recommendation that eating breakfast can help with weight control.

The researchers said that because of the varying quality of the studies included, the findings should be interpreted with caution.

But study co-author Professor Flavia Cicuttini, of Monash University, said: 'Currently, the available evidence does not support modifying diets in adults to include the consumption of breakfast as a good strategy to lose weight'.

"Although eating breakfast regularly could have other important effects, caution is needed when recommending breakfast for weight loss in adults, as it may have the opposite effect", they conclude.

The findings of the Monash University research team suggest that skipping breakfast might in fact be a good way to reduce total daily calorie intake.

Experts from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, examined 13 randomized controlled trials related to breakfast and weight in high income countries, including the United Kingdom.

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"We are not talking about breakfast being the cause of obesity", he said. "There are lots of reasons why people eat breakfast - growing children might want to eat before they go to school, older people might need to eat after taking medication or it could be a cultural tradition", she says.

"Observational studies have shown that obese and diabetic people skipped meals more often than thin people", he wrote in a linked BMJ opinion article, which was republished on The Conversation.

"If you do enjoy breakfast, don't stop, but take a look at what you are having".

The Association of UK Dietitians recommends that 20-25% of people's daily nutritional requirements should come from their breakfast.

It's common for people on such protocols to break their fasts at lunchtime, regularly skipping breakfast and finishing their day's feeding with dinner at about 8pm.

"Prescriptive, slow-moving diet guidelines filled with erroneous information look increasingly counterproductive and detract from important health messages".

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Eating breakfast won't make you slim if you're knocking back a bowl of sugar disguised as cereal, or a full English (which can tally at 800-1000 calories, far above the 200-400 in a serving of cereal).