Monday, November 29, 2010

Skipping Breakfast Makes You Fat, but NOT by Increasing Appetite

You will certainly have heard of the scientifically proven correlation between skipping breakfast and getting obese. At least for children a group led by Tanya VE Kral (Kral. 2010) has now found "Omitting breakfast affected children’s appetite ratings but not their energy intake at subsequent meals." Astonishing as this may sound, the results of their investigation are unequivocal:
There was no significant main effect of breakfast condition on energy intake at lunch (P = 0.36) or throughout the remainder of the day (P = 0.85). There was a significant main effect of breakfast condition (P = 0.04) on total daily energy intake, which indicated that on the day when the subjects did not eat breakfast, they consumed 362 fewer calories over the course of the day than when they did eat breakfast. On the day when no breakfast was served, subjects
indicated that they were significantly hungrier, less full, and could consume more food before lunch than on the day when they did eat breakfast (P , 0.001).
Bottom line, eating less or rather not eating less by not eating at the right time makes children and most probably adults fat. As far as the reasons for this observation are concerned, the researchers speculate that ...
It is possible that children who regularly skip breakfast may show different energy intake patterns throughout the day compared with children who regularly eat breakfast and who may skip breakfast only occasionally. In other words, the long-term effects of skipping breakfast on energy intake may develop over time and may involve learning of new eating patterns.
These eating patterns will of course center around over-eating at night and would thus provide the body with an abundance of energy right when he needs it the least. It stands to reason that this may contribute to obesity, especially in view of the reduction in metabolic rate triggered by skipping breakfast. So, if you are one of those who "simply can't eat something in the morning", a meal replacement shake might be something worth considering.