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Does Skipping Breakfast Make You Fatter?

green and red healthy foodDoes Skipping Breakfast Make You Fatter? Quite simply..YES! Skipping breakfast is a common dietary habit and has been shown in numerous studies to be associated with increased incidence of obesity. 

In a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers examined whether a high-protein (HP) breakfast lead to improvements in appetite, satiety, food motivation and reward, and evening snacking in overweight or obese females who routinely skipped breakfast.

Compared to skipping breakfast, consuming breakfast reduced daily hunger with the HP breakfast resulting in greater satiety than the NP breakfast.  In addition, only the HP breakfast reduced ghrelin (a hunger stimulating hormone) and increased daily peptide YY (appetite reducing hormone) concentrations compared with breakfast skipping.  Brain activated pre-dinner cues were reduced by consuming either breakfast, although the HP further reduced certain food cue-stimulation compared with NP breakfast.  The HP breakfast also reduced high-fat food snacking in the evening when compared to breakfast skipping.

This study shows that eating breakfast leads to improvements in appetite, hormonal and neural signals that influence food intake.  The high-protein breakfast resulted in even greater improvements in these food signals and reduced evening snacking compared to skipping breakfast.  Eating breakfast, especially one rich in protein, reduces food cravings, improves satiety and results in a better diet quality in teenage girls who are overweight or obese.

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Heather J Leidy et al.  Beneficial effects of a higher-protein breakfast on the appetitive, hormonal, and neural signals controlling energy intake regulation in overweight/obese, “breakfast-skipping,” late-adolescent girls.  Am J Clin Nutr April 2013 vol. 97 no. 4 677-688.

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