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Will skipping breakfast help you lose weight?

Written by Diane Archer

Many of us have a favorite diet. Some of us eat more plants and try to follow the Mediterranean diet, since it has been shown to help keep one’s brain healthy and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. To lose weight, some of us believe that fasting is the way to go and that skipping breakfast can help. But, “authorities” from Dr. Oz to the Mayo Clinic to WebMD encourage us to eat breakfast to maintain a healthy weight or even to lose excess weight. The data does not support their claims. In fact, skipping breakfast could help you lose weight.

A 2014 study published in Frontiers in Public Health suggests that it can be beneficial to extend the time between your last meal of the day and your first meal of the following day. You can do that by skipping late-night eating or delaying or skipping breakfast. Whichever you do, the study suggests you may decrease your risk of obesity and its comorbidities.

Stat News reviews a range of studies and reports that you can skip breakfast without fear of gaining weight. Or, you can eat breakfast with no guarantees it will help you lose excess weight or maintain a healthy weight. It turns out that the overwhelming majority of studies are based on the weight of people who regularly eat breakfast and the weight of people who regularly skip it. Yet, their weight might have no relation to whether they ate breakfast or not.

While studies can find an association between people who eat breakfast and people who have healthy weights, these studies do not show causation. In other words, there is no evidence to suggest that eating breakfast leads to weight loss or healthy weight.

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