Study finds breakfast might not be most important daily meal

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We often hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially if we're trying to manage their weight.

Quite the contrary, in fact, with the study indicating that skipping breakfast may actually help you lose weight rather than gain it.

Cicuttini said the study's message isn't that anyone should start skipping breakfast to lose weight.

So a team from Monash University in Melbourne analysed the effect of regularly eating breakfast on weight change and daily energy intake, based on evidence from 13 randomised controlled trials, mainly in the United States and UK, from the last 28 years.

Overall, the review found that people who ate breakfast consumed, on average, about 260 calories more per day than people who skipped breakfast. Many public health organisations and doctors have similarly recommended adding a healthy breakfast to your routine as a way to prevent obesity or promote weight loss.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Try mashing avocado on toast for a light healthy breakfast What is a healthy breakfast? Eat if you're hungry and if you'e not, don't worry about it.

The participants in the trials were of various weights and some were regular breakfast eaters, while others were not.

In 2017, professor Terence Kealey, author of Breakfast is a Dangerous Meal, told the Telegraph how several studies championing breakfast were backed by food corporations.

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The British Dietetic Association (BDA) adds that research shows that "people who eat breakfast have more balanced diets than those who skip it, are less likely to be overweight, (and) lose weight more successfully if overweight".

Previous studies have suggested that eating breakfast is linked with maintaining a healthy weight, but these findings have been observational and may reflect an individual's wider healthy lifestyle and food choices.

The authors noted that the overall quality of the studies was low, saying more research is needed.

In reality - the results found very small differences in weight between those who ate breakfast and those who did not.

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

People who skipped breakfast did not compensate by eating more later in the day, the review found.

'Eating a meal in the morning - and it doesn't need to be immediately after waking - helps to restore blood sugar levels which will have fallen overnight, ' explains nutritionist and founder of employee wellbeing company Elevate, Ruth Tongue.

Prof Cicuttini explains that the focus should be not placed on when we eat our largest meal of the day - whether it's at lunch or breakfast - but on total daily calorie content. It is a good opportunity to get "important nutrients into the diet", such as fiber from whole grain breakfast cereals and calcium from dairy foods. And nor will opting for avocado, rolled oats and other healthy breakfast options help if they're supersized portions.

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