Breakfast ‘not the most important meal of the day’

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“Breakfast might not be the most important meal of the day after all,” the Mail Online reports.

The concept that breakfast is the most important meal of the day is up there in the pantheon of received wisdom with “never swim after eating” or “getting wet will give you a cold”. But is there any hard evidence to back the claim?

A new study in 38 lean people found that six weeks of regularly eating breakfast had no significant effect on metabolism or eating patterns for the rest of the day compared to total fasting before midday.

It also found no difference between the groups at the end of the study in body mass, fat mass, or indicators of cardiovascular health (such as cholesterol or inflammatory markers).

There are various important limitations to this trial though such as the short follow-up time. For example, people who fasted had much more variable blood sugar levels in the afternoon and evening, and we do not know what the longer-term effects of this could be.

Overall, based on this study alone, we would not recommend completely starving your body of all nutrition before 12pm each day, not least because not eating something in the morning may not make you feel very happy or energetic, if nothing else.
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