A new study published in the has found that
eating breakfast could help obese people improve their health by prompting them
to become more active.
The study, carried out by researchers at
the University of Bath, UK, looked at a possible link between breakfast, body
weight and health and builds on previous research as part of the three-year 'Bath Breakfast Project'.
In this new study, researchers from the
University's Department for Health split 23 participants aged 21- 60 into two
groups, ‘breakfasting' and 'fasting'.
The researchers asked the breakfasting
group to eat at least 700 calories by 11 am for a six-week period. The group
could choose whatever they wanted to eat, but the first half of the calories
had to be consumed within two hours of the participant waking up.
The fasting group however could not
consume anything except water until at least midday.
The team found that during the day both
groups consumed a similar amout of calories overall, with those who fasted
compensating for the lack of morning calories by eating more later in the day,
whereas the breakfasting group ate less; however the team also found that the
breakfasting groups participated in more physical activity in the mornings.
As increasing levels of physical activity
is a key way to improve health, the team believe their results could be
significant for increasing exercise levels in sedentary individuals.
Commenting on the findings, lead
researcher Dr James Betts said that despite the program's studies showing the
possible health effects of eating breakfast, "'how important' breakfast is
still really depends on the individual and their own personal goals. For example,
if weight loss is the key there is little to suggest that just having breakfast
or skipping it will matter. However, based on other markers of a healthy
lifestyle, like being more active or controlling blood sugar levels, then
there's evidence that breakfast may help."