18 February 2002
An American study has shown that eating breakfast regularly was a common characteristic of people who had successfully lost weight and kept it off.
The people involved in the study were selected from the National Weight Control Registry and had all maintained a weight loss of at least 13.6 kg for at least one year. The average weight lost was 32 kg maintained for 6 years.
Eating breakfast every day of the week was reported by 78 per cent of the people in the study which was published in the February 2002 issue of the journal Obesity Research (2002; 10: 78-82). Only 4 per cent reported never eating breakfast. Of the breakfast eaters, cereal was the breakfast of choice, with 60 per cent of those studied saying they ‘always’ or ‘usually’ ate a bowl of cereal.
There was no difference in reported energy intake between breakfast eaters and people who did not eat breakfast, but breakfast eaters reported slightly more physical activity than non-breakfast eaters.
Dr Jim Hill, Co-Director of the National Weight Control Registry, and the study’s lead researcher, said: ‘It is striking not just that breakfast eating is a frequent behaviour among individuals within this group, but that such a high proportion report eating breakfast every day of the week.’
Researchers involved with the National Weight Control Registry say that there are several possible reasons that regular breakfast eating may be an essential behaviour for weight loss maintenance.
Last Reviewed: 18 February 2002