You might want to spend more time sleeping or exercising and less time waiting in line for a bagel before work.
Contrary to motherly advice across America, a new study out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham claims that regularly eating breakfast is no better for weight loss than skipping the meal. The study was highlighted in a New York Times column this week.
The 16-week trial, which was conducted on multiple sites throughout the world, including Boston, comprised 309 adults, ages 20 to 65, who were all overweight or obese. One group was told to skip breakfast, another was directed to eat breakfast each day, and there was also a control group of breafkast skippers and eaters who were only given general nutrional information.
Emily Dhurandhar, the study’s lead author, said that the assignments had no effects on weight loss.
“Now that we know the general recommendation of ‘eat breakfast every day’ has no differential impact on weight loss, we can move forward with studying other techniques for improved effectiveness,” Dhurandhar said. “We should try to understand why eating or skipping breakfast did not influence weight loss, despite evidence that breakfast may influence appetite and metabolism.”
Dhurandhar did point out that the study only measured weight loss, not appetite or metabolism, and that since the goal of the study was to test the general effect of breakfast, the quantity and quality of breakfast foods were not considered.