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Breakfast still isn't the most important meal of the day. You also may have heard claims that eating breakfast somehow promotes weight loss. Well, there's a new study out, and it looks like eating breakfast isn't going to contribute to weight loss. Take that, Big Breakfast!

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Hey, guess what? Breakfast still isn't the most important meal of the day, and it won't help you lose weight. This is Healthcare Triage News.


We demolished breakfast before, but there's a recent meta-analysis that's on point that's worth revisiting. To the research!

From the BMJ, it's the "Effect of breakfast on weight and energy intake: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised control trials."

Researchers searched all the literature for randomized controlled trials published between 1990 and 2018 looking at how breakfast affects weight or energy intake. The trials had to compare breakfast versus no breakfast and look at these two outcomes. They also had to take place in high income countries, because that's what we're interested in in this case, not how breakfast might come into play in resource starved settings.

They had two researchers independently extract the data and judge the papers. Then they pooled the data and conducted a random effects meta-analysis, and we've covered how that works in a previous episode. 13 trials met inclusion criteria. Of these, 7 looked at the effects of breakfast on weight change and 10 looked at the effect of breakfast on energy intake. To the results.

Participants who skipped breakfast had a small average weight loss, of about one pound. This was inconsistent across studies, and I don't want to read too much into it because I'm not trying to prove here that not eating breakfast causes you to lose weight. The argument is that eating breakfast causes you to lose weight, and that totally was not seen here.

People who ate breakfast had a higher total energy intake compared to those who skipped it, and, while I'm tempted to say duh because duh, there are still people out there who think that if you eat breakfast, somehow you lower your overall calorie consumption over the course of the day. You don't.

Almost all of these trials were short. Almost all had biases. Almost all of them were of pretty low quality. But, the bottom line is this: Adding breakfast to your day is not a weight-loss strategy. Eat it if you want it of course, but if you're looking to lose weight, you don't need it.


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And, if you want more content, go to our podcast. It's great. The Healthcare Triage Podcast, wherever you download podcasts or wherever they're available. And, of course, my book, The Bad Food Bible, still available in stores. Appreciate it if you pick up a copy.