A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 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 BBSRC-funded ‘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.