Dieters are sometimes told to have a substantial breakfast, because it reduces the amount of food consumed during rest of the day. Not so, a new study reports.
German researchers studied the food intake of 280 obese adults and 100 adults of normal weight. The subjects kept records of everything they ate over two weeks, and were carefully instructed about the importance of writing down what they ate as soon as they ate it.
For both groups, a large breakfast simply added to the number of daily calories they consumed. Whether they ate a large breakfast, a small one or none at all, their nonbreakfast calorie intake remained the same.
The study, published in Nutrition Journal, found the foods most often responsible for the variations in daily calories were among the morning's favorites: bread, eggs, yogurt, cheese, sausages, marmalade, and butter.
This may mean that exactly the opposite of the commonly offered advice is correct: A smaller breakfast means fewer daily calories consumed, not more.
"Whenever someone comes to me for dietary advice and says, ‘I never eat breakfast,' I say, ‘Keep doing what you're doing,' ” said the senior author, Dr. Volker Schusdziarra, a professor of internal medicine at the Technical University of Munich. “Eating breakfast is just added calories. You'll never compensate for them at subsequent meals.”