Heart of the Matter – the breakfast debate

By Sarah Noone and Caoimhe Clynch Nutrition News   |   20th Feb 2019

Our expert dietitian Sarah Noone, and student nutritionist Caoimhe Clynch, digest a new study on breakfast

A new study from a team of researchers at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, that examined whether skipping breakfast helped with weight loss, has received a lot of media attention in recent weeks, but what exactly did the research show?

The study claimed that people who skipped breakfast consumed, on average, 260 fewer calories a day than those that regularly ate breakfast and were, on average, 0.44 kilograms or 1 lb lighter.

Therefore, the researchers suggested that eating breakfast may not be a good strategy for weight loss.

However, there were several limitations to this study. Firstly, the difference in weight between those who ate and didn’t eat breakfast was really very small (440grams or around 1lb). The researchers themselves stated that the studies included in the review had a high risk of bias and that the quality of the studies was low.

"There really isn't a 'one-way fits all' approach, it’s about whatever works best for you,"


Furthermore, the trials in this review only had a short-term follow-up of seven weeks for weight loss which doesn’t tell a lot about the longer-term effects. It is also important to remember that weight is not the only marker for health and that many studies have shown that eating breakfast has many additional benefits such as improved levels of concentration.

The review suggests that there was no good evidence to support the idea that eating breakfast promotes weight loss or that skipping it leads to weight gain. However, even the researchers themselves stated that the study findings should be interpreted with caution considering the several limitations.

The bottom line is that a nutritional breakfast that provides you with fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals can be a good meal to incorporate into our daily routine. However, eating breakfast depends on many factors of our lives.

Therefore, if you enjoy a healthy well-balanced breakfast continue to do so and if you prefer to eat your first meal later in the day, then that’s OK too. There really isn’t a ‘one-way fits all’ approach, it’s about whatever works best for you.

(This review was published in the BMJ)  


Facebook Twiter Email

Related Topics

breakfast dietitian healthy diet healthy eating nutrition

More on Nutrition News

Back to school – heart healthy lunchbox ideas

Tips for preparing healthy lunchboxes for children.

Read More

Nutrition News   |   26th Aug 2022

Heart Healthy Barbecue Tips

Top tips for a heart healthy barbecue

Read More

Nutrition News   |   12th Aug 2022

Plant stanols, sterols, and cholesterol

What is the link between plant stanols, sterols and cholesterol?

Read More

Nutrition News   |   15th Jun 2022

Obesity is a condition, not just a risk factor – WHO

Overweight and obesity have reached epidemic proportions in the WHO European Region

Read More

Obesity News   |   12th May 2022

Translate »