Breakfast has always been known to be the most significant meal of the day. Breakfast revives metabolism and provides early nutrition which plays a significant role in sustaining the human-body through the day. It also prevents people from overeating at lunch, having a partial lunch earlier and then another semi-meal later in the afternoon, etc. Therefore, having breakfast has always been described a very important towards weight loss. However, a new research that has been published in an American journal on clinical nutrition has raised considerable questions on the belief. The research revealed that the success for those who had breakfast in the morning was virtually the same as that for those who did not.
Why breakfast has the credit?
Research carried out earlier have always focused on the possibility of being obese or overweight among those who missed breakfast. However, there has hardly been any study that proved it to a substantial cause for weight-gain. The misinterpretation of correlation as causation was pointed out by Emily Dhurandhar, who is the Assistant Professor of Health Behavior at The University of Alabama in Birmingham and was the lead author of the research. However, Michelle Cardel, the co-author, notes that breakfast may not have much significant role in weight loss, it is still important otherwise.
The research was carried out on 309 people, divided into 3 groups. All the 3 groups were given the same USDA pamphlets that described nutritious habits. The pamphlets of 1st group had no mention of breakfast while that of the 2nd group additionally instructed to have breakfast before 10 o’clock in the morning, and the 3rd group was told not to have anything solid until 11 o’clock in the morning. The groups were observed for 112 days, after which the conclusion was derived.
The study was completed by 283 participants, who accomplished the same average weight loss. Thus, breakfast was found to have no crucial effect on weight loss of the volunteers. The result also highlights the need for evidence along with the beliefs that prevail regarding nutrition today.
Limitations to the Study
According to Cardel, the study was not free of limitations. First, the volunteers had the liberty to choose the food-items that they wanted to have for breakfast. So, there is no conclusion on the quantity and type of food that people. It cannot be said whether prescribing the type and amount of food for breakfast could have yielded different result. The study did not take into account the appetite of the participants. So, it is not known who ate how at breakfast and other meals. Thirdly, the study spanned a period of only 112 days, which might be too small a time to observe the nutritional effect of breakfast in weight loss.
Although the research had limitations, it signified at the need for evidence in support of the claims that are widespread in the world today. The study has not diminished the significance of breakfast as the first meal of a day but revealed that it is not crucial towards losing weight.
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