A new study by German scientists finds that consuming a big breakfast in the morning does not mean people eat fewer calories throughout the day as many diet counselors contend.
In fact, a bigger breakfast could mean more overall calories. The study found that people who eat a breakfast with around 400 more calories than a typical small breakfast tended to eat around 400 more calories for the entire day.
The finding suggested that the advice about eating a big breakfast in order to lose weight is not practical and may be the result of past research that was misinterpreted.
The study was conducted by researches at the Else-Kroner-Fresenius Center of Nutritional Medicine at the Technical University of Munich. It was published online this week in Nutritional Journal.
The study involved 100 normal weight and 280 obese volunteers who recorded their food intake in diaries for at least two weeks. Some participants ate a small breakfast, while others ate big ones and some skipped breakfast entirely.
Among their findings, the researchers found that eating a larger number of calories at the morning during breakfast was linked to more calories taken in for the entire day for both the obese and normal weight participants. They also found that larger a larger breakfast had a strong influence on the number of calories eaten through the day.
“Reduced breakfast energy intake is associated with lower total daily intake,” the research concluded.
“The results of the study showed that people ate the same at lunch and dinner, regardless of what they had for breakfast,” researcher Dr. Volker Schusdziarra said in a press interview.