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Not a breakfast eater? Don't change your habit...

If you don't eat breakfast and don't want to put on weight, then don't bother to listen to the nutritionists and advisers who say that breakfast is so healthy. If you follow their advice you'll put on a pound in a month, according to a study by the American sports scientist Gabrielle Marie LeCheminant at Brigham Young University.

LeCheminant completed her thesis in 2014. She will soon publish the results of her study in Appetite [], but we read her graduation thesis.

LeCheminant divided 48 female students, all of whom did not eat breakfast, into two groups. One group continued to skip breakfast; the other did what nutritionists think we should all do. They started to eat breakfast.

The women who started eating breakfast put on half a kilogram in a month. Nearly all of the weight gain was in the form of body fat.

Not a breakfast eater? Don't change your habit...

The women who ate breakfast consumed 260 kilocalories more each day, mainly in the form of carbohydrates. This group's carb intake increased by about 40 g.

Not a breakfast eater? Don't change your habit...

Regular nutritionists think that a relatively carb-rich breakfast is healthy as it gives you energy for the rest of the day, which makes you more active and therefore you burn more energy and become slimmer. It's a nice theory, but this study prompts you to wonder whether it holds water.

"Breakfast is generally considered part of a healthy lifestyle and has been related to lower body weight," wrote LeCheminant. "The majority of correlational studies have found that people who eat breakfast tend to have lower BMIs."

"In contrast, while there have not been many randomized studies examining this relationship, based on the current evidence there is a general lack of support for breakfast having a positive impact on weight management. These studies have primarily resulted in no weight change".

"Our study also does not support the proposed beneficial impact of breakfast on body weight."

"The findings of our study showed that requiring non-breakfast eaters to eat breakfast results in higher caloric intake and weight gain. There was no observed caloric compensation at subsequent meals and no change in self-reported hunger or satiety. There was also no physical activity compensation with the addition of breakfast."

LeCheminant GM. A Randomized Controlled Trial to Study the Effects of Breakfast on Energy Intake, Physical Activity, and Body Fat in Women. MSc Thesis, 2014.

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