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No hesitation apparently is needed next time you contemplate sitting down at the breakfast table.Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Perhaps not.

Several studies challenge the traditional perception of breakfast's benefits on health, The New York Times tells. At the University of Alabama in the United States, one study observed whether breakfast affects weight loss. 300 people wanting to lose weight took part in the research.

The researchers randomly advised some participants to skip breakfast, and the others to eat breakfast. When the volunteers were weighed after four months, nobody's weight had dropped more than a few hundred grams.

At a study conducted at the University of Bath in Britain, the participants were all slim to begin with. The 33 volunteers' resting metabolism, cholesterol levels and blood sugar were measured, after which some of them were ordered to skip breakfasts. Six weeks later all the levels remained the same regardless of whether the volunteers had skipped breakfast or not.

The studies were published in August in the publication of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Their findings showed that those who ate breakfast burned nearly 500 calories more than others during the day but, on the other hand, had gained as much from eating breakfast. Contrary to the usual perception, skipping breakfast did not cause gorging at lunch or eating an enormous dinner.

According to Professor Emily Dhurandhar at the University of Alabama, it appears that breakfast is merely one of the meals consumed during the day.

Henrik Suni – HS
Mari Storpellinen – HT
© HELSINGIN SANOMAT
Image: Kaisa Rautaheimo / HS

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