Breakfast and Weight Loss
Thursday, September 10, 2009

Breakfast has long been touted as the most important meal of the day. An English study has discovered that the decision to skip breakfast can have an adverse affect on weight loss or maintenance. Dr. Edward Hill discusses their findings in today’s 60 Second Housecall.

Skipping breakfast is not a good idea if you are trying to lose or maintain weight. Researchers have discovered that forgoing the first meal of the day actually tricks your brain into thinking you want higher-calorie foods.

English researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to look at how feeding behaviors affected the brain’s “reward” center, which plays a role in pleasures and the body’s response to them.

The study involved 20 healthy, non-obese people. They skipped breakfast then looked at random photos of high- and low-calorie foods.

The brain’s reward center lit up more vividly when the person saw a high-calorie food as opposed to a low-calorie choice.

However, when the participants ate breakfast and had the same test repeated the brain’s reward center did not show any significantly greater activity when shown the high-calorie photos.

The study participants also rated how appealing they found each food picture. When skipping breakfast, high-calorie foods topped the list of favorites. After eating, however, the group did not show a strong preference for the calorie-laden foods.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, I’m Dr. Edward Hill.