Skipping breakfast does not cause overeating, new research reveals

Eating breakfast is supposed to lead to less calorie consumption during the day. But new research suggest that skipping breakfast may not cause us to overeat later.

Juggling the demands of modern life can leave little time for breakfast, despite it being hailed as the most important meal of the day. But contrary to previous research, a new study suggests that skipping breakfast may not necessarily cause us to eat more later on.

The study, which involved 40 teenage girls, found that participants consumed more than 350 fewer calories on days when they missed breakfast, compared with the days when they ate breakfast.

Lead study author Dr. Julia Zakrzewski-Fruer, of the University of Bedfordshire in the United Kingdom, and colleagues say that their results challenge previous research suggesting that skipping breakfast may lead to overeating later in the day.

The researchers recently reported their findings in the British Journal of Nutrition.

For many, having breakfast is a major part of our daily routine. For others, those extra few minutes in bed are preferable to a slice of toast or a bowl of cereal. In fact, a 2015 survey found that only 47 percent of people in the United States eat breakfast every day.

But what effect does skipping breakfast have on our health? Previous research has linked breakfast omission to poorer heart health, while other studies have suggested that missing a morning meal may lead to overeating and increase a person’s risk of obesity.

For this latest study, Dr. Zakrzewski-Fruer and colleagues sought to find out more about the latter.

Fewer calories  eaten after skipping breakfast
The study included 40 girls aged 11–15 years. Each subject was required to participate in two 3-day breakfast conditions. In one condition, participants consumed a standard, low glycemic index (GI) breakfast, which contained 468 calories. In the other condition, participants did not eat breakfast.

Dr. Zakrzewski-Fruet and team say that the aim of their research was to “examine the effect of 3 consecutive days of breakfast consumption compared with breakfast omission on free-living energy intake and physical activity in adolescent girls.”

As part of the study, each participant was required to keep a food diary, and their physical activity levels were monitored with an accelerometer.

The researchers found that on days when participants missed breakfast, they consumed a total of 353 fewer calories than on days when they ate breakfast.

Breakfast consumption appeared to have no influence on physical activity levels, the team reports.

“There are many reports,” says study co-author Dr. Keith Tolfrey, of Loughborough University said that show missing breakfast is associated with obesity, which may have led to premature assumptions that breakfast can be used as an intervention for weight control.

He adds: “But we do not know why eating breakfast is associated with a lower likelihood of being overweight or obese, or whether eating breakfast can be used effectively as a weight control strategy.”


Regular breakfast may protect against diabetes in youngsters

Children who eat breakfast regularly, particularly a high fibre cereal breakfast, had lower risk for type 2 diabetes than those children who ate breakfast infrequently, according to new research

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The results came from research among 4,116 9–10 year old children attending 200 schools in London, Birmingham, and Leicester participating in the Child Heart and Health Study in England (CHASE), a study examining risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in children.

Researchers took various body measurements of the study participants and their levels of insulin, glucose, and other blood markers of diabetes risk. All the participants reported how often they ate breakfast and 2,004 children also completed a 24-hour dietary recall questionnaire.

Seventy-four percent of the children reported that they ate breakfast every day, 11% and 9% reported that they ate breakfast most days and some days, respectively, whereas 6% reported that they rarely ate breakfast.

Children who ate breakfast every day had lower risk markers for type 2 diabetes (eg fasting insulin levels were lower) than those children who ate breakfast infrequently. In particular, the children who ate a high fibre, cereal-based breakfast had lower insulin resistance than children who ate other types of breakfast such as low fibre or toast-based breakfasts.

Studies of this type are often associated with confounding factors that can reduce the strength of the findings. However, in this study the association between eating breakfast and having a favorable type 2 diabetes risk profile remained after allowing for differences in socioeconomic status, physical activity levels, and amount of body fat.

Family GP, Dr Paul Stillman and advisor to the Breakfast Cereal Information Service (BCIS) commenting on the results said: “These findings are very encouraging and suggest the need to conduct further trials to see whether altering the breakfast habits of children can alter their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

“This study suggests that if all the children in England who do not eat breakfast daily could be encouraged to do so, it might reduce population-wide fasting insulin levels by about 4%. Moreover, encouraging children to eat a high fibre breakfast, instead of a low fibre breakfast might reduce population-wide fasting insulin levels by 11%–12%. Persuading children to eat breakfast, particularly a high fibre breakfast cereal regularly, could contribute to reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Breakfast cereals are a nutritious and convenient choice for breakfast as they contain a range of micronutrients. Choosing a high fibre breakfast cereal may offer additional benefit to health with regard to type 2 diabetes risk profile.”

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Experts launch panel to put breakfast back on the family menu

ItÂ’s the most important meal of the day and, as of today, Britain has a group of experts which are committed to highlighting all the benefits of breakfast and encouraging people to make the most of this meal.

The new Breakfast Panel, launched recently, comprises academics, researchers, GPs, nutritionists and dieticians, all of whom are passionate about getting to the bottom of why breakfast is so important. Together they will undertake independent research, review other studies, inform, educate and comment on issues about breakfast, breakfast options and breakfast consumption.

The members of The Breakfast Panel are:

• Prof Ian Banks BSc Bch MB MSc PhD

• Prof Jeya Henry BSc MSc PhD

• Prof Chris Seal BSc PhD RNutr MIFST

• Sara Stanner BSc(Hons) MSc RPHNutr

• Dr Chris Steele MBE MB ChB

Details of their biographies can be viewed on The Breakfast Panel’s web site –

A new research review from KingÂ’s College London has uncovered that:

• Breakfast usually contributes 9-36% of micronutrient intakes to the overall diet

• Skipping breakfast can lead to an unhealthy pattern of snacking on high-fat foods throughout the morning

• Eating breakfast has been linked with better test grades and school attendance in children and adolescents

• A bowl of wholegrain cereal is as good as a sports drink for recovery after exercise

• Having a wholesome breakfast such as cereal and milk is linked to eating less fat later in the day and maintaining a healthy weight

• By ensuring the consumption of recommended fibre levels this can lead to improved bowel performance – e.g. prebiotic effect

• Low GI/ high fibre breakfasts have been show to increase satiety and improve results in attention and memory tests

Breakfast cereal consumption has numerous health benefits to our wellbeing, with scientific research clearly demonstrating these health benefits. Many independent nutritionists and dieticians recommend the need for cereals as a vital dietary requirement.

Commenting further on how breakfast cereals can improve the quality of the diet, Dr Leonard, an independent advisor to the Breakfast Cereal Information Service notes: “Firstly, breakfast cereals make an important contribution to the intake of essential micronutrients, including vitamins such as B vitamins and vitamin E as well as minerals, such as magnesium and zinc. Consuming breakfast cereals with milk increases vitamin and mineral intake still further, particularly calcium, riboflavin and vitamin A.”

Dr Sanjay Prasad from the heart and stroke charity CORDA adds: “Cereals are also a valuable source of fibre. Specific products also contribute to the intake of essential fats from nuts, soluble fibre from oat-based cereals and the government’s 5-a-day fruit and vegetable target due to dried fruit content.

Dr Leonard continues: “Secondly, eating breakfast cereals is linked with improved diet quality throughout the day, not least at breakfast time itself. Evidence shows that people who eat breakfast cereals in the mornings tend to choose less fatty food, particularly snacks such as biscuits, cakes and sweets, later on. This influence on meal choice could be due to factors such as the fibre content of breakfast cereals. Fibre, of course, is associated with healthy bowel function. “

Dr Leonard adds: “Breakfast cereals are also lower in fat, including saturated fat, than most other types of breakfasts. Overall, breakfast cereal consumption is associated with eating less fat throughout the entire day, which has implications for cardiovascular health and maintenance of healthy weight. Indeed, evidence suggests that people who eat breakfast cereal are more likely to have a healthy BMI than those who don’t.

“Breakfast cereal consumption is also associated with better cognitive function, academic performance and school behaviour. Research shows that attendance at school breakfast clubs is linked with improved maths grades, while school absence and psychosocial problems are reduced.

“So in a nutshell breakfast cereals provide many health benefits and as a result, consumption of breakfast is vital and helps ensure a healthy start to the day. Unfortunately, skipping breakfast is all too common. Data shows that one in six children skips breakfast every day. Evidence shows that people who do not eat breakfast are less likely to meet their requirements for vitamin A, riboflavin, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin D and calcium. Skipping breakfast is also associated with weight gain and obesity and reduced mental function, including poor attention, memory and learning.

“Some recent information campaigns have looked at the whole issue of salt and sugar in breakfast cereals, and here the facts are very clear. Breakfast Cereals contribute less than 5% salt and sugar (some of which will be intrinsic sugars from dried fruit in many varieties) to the daily diet. Indeed, the FSA sodium target of 0.3g/100g for these products has practically been reached. By 2010, breakfast cereals will be just 0.02g/100g off this target. Evidence indicates that just 2.7% of UK sodium consumption comes from breakfast cereals. This is a direct result of the salt content of breakfast cereals being reduced by 44% since 1998.

“In terms of labelling, breakfast cereal manufacturers are also leading the way in clearer nutritional labelling via the use of Guideline Daily Amounts (GDAs). The EU project, FLABEL (Food Labelling to Advance Better Education for Life) has recently announced British breakfast cereals as the best food category in Europe for providing clear nutrition communication to consumers on packaging. The GDA labels that are now available on many cereal brands enable consumers to clearly note the levels of sugar and salt and other nutrients that are contained in a suggested portion. The label also allows people to make easy comparisons within the breakfast category and ensures they are able to monitor their nutrient intake and remain within the recommended 6g of salt as part of their daily diet. When looking at the nutritional composition of breakfast cereals it is important to look at portion size, not 100g samples. Recommended serving sizes are marked on the packs and vary from 30g to 45g. The National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) shows that average consumption is 33g per day for men and 27g per day for women1, with 75% of this being wholegrain and high fibre varieties.”

Looking at the whole area of claims, Dr Leonard points out: “European Union legislation has set out two further routes for improving the information provided to consumers about the content of their food. The first route provides a statement of fact about the nutritional content of the food – what is or isn’t in the product, e.g., low in salt, low in sugar or a source of fibre. The second route enables companies to explain product health benefits via scientifically validated health claims, based on evidence approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). “

“The food industry welcomes these moves, and indeed has been working towards such changes for many years. Industry supports the harmonisation of the use of scientifically substantiated nutrition and health claims made on food products, enabling consumers to make informed and meaningful choices. EFSA has recently provided opinions on 523 health claims relating to food products. Again, industry welcomes the progress made in this area and looks forward to the next steps in the process, where Member States and the European Commission agree on a common EC-wide list of accepted claims. “

In summary Dr Leonard comments: “Breakfast should account for 20% of our Guideline Daily Amount intake of key nutrients and as a result is a daily must have. And contrary to other opinions, real facts demonstrate that the UK breakfast cereal category has clear nutritional labelling on pack, enabling the consumer to make well informed decisions over the contents of their food.”

Death of the English breakfast?


London: More than three-quarters of British families no longer have breakfast together, according to new research.

The traditional morning sit-down has virtually disappeared as increasing workloads which require longer hours in the office take their toll on family life.

Instead, one in five people now eat breakfast alone before leaving for work, one in three eat on the way to the office and three out of ten have breakfast at their desk.

Only 22 per cent regularly have breakfast together at the table, according to the poll of 3,000 people by cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s.

The weekend is now the only time when many families find time to sit down and enjoy the first meal of the day together.

However, nearly 60 per cent think they now eat cereal more often despite not eating it as much with the family.

Most common reasons for this include; health benefits, eating it as a snack or as part of a balanced diet.

Supernanny Jo Frost, who is supporting Kellogg’s ‘Wake up to Breakfast’ Campaign, commented on the results:

”As our lives have become busier many families don’t sit down and eat together in the morning and 27 million people in the UK even skip breakfast regularly.

”We should encourage the nation to Wake up To Breakfast by highlighting the importance of breakfast and cereal as fuel for physical activity, mental ability, and nutrition for general wellbeing.”

Half of those polled claimed they did not have time to eat breakfast at the table whilst 11 per cent said they didn’t even own a breakfast table.

More than 56 per cent say it is sometimes a matter of grabbing what they can for breakfast at the last minute and 39 per cent even have smaller portions of cereals and more milk so they can eat it quicker.

For 31 per cent, the weekend was the only time they got to sit down to breakfast but even then 69 per cent of Brits say they still struggle to have the first meal of the day as a family on a Saturday or Sunday.

Despite the lack of time more than half of people said they enjoyed nothing more than settling down to breakfast with a newspaper.

TV presenter Phillippa Forrester, who is also supporting the campaign added: ”Experts recommend that we get around 25 per cent of our daily vitamins and iron at breakfast time so if you skip breakfast you’re unlikely to make up some vital nutrients later on in the day.

”It seems for many people having a family breakfast is out of their control as eight out of ten of those surveyed reckon people miss out on the experience of being with children or loved ones.”

A massive 70 per cent of Brits polled think they ate breakfast with people much more when they were younger compared to now.

And of those who still do, the majority (a third) admit they only eat breakfast once or twice a week with their children, partner or family.

It was found on average Brits spend a measly eight minutes eating their brekkie with a worrying 12 per cent not knowing how long because they eat it too quickly.

Top 10 Regions who no longer eat breakfast together

1. North East

2. Midlands

3. South East

4. London

5. North West

6. South

7. Scotland

8. Wales

9. Ireland

10. South West

Top 10 regions which skip breakfast

1. South East

2. Midlands

3. London

4. North West

5. Wales

6. Scotland

7. North East

8. South

9. South West

10. Ireland

Top 10 reasons to why the family breakfast is in decline

1. Not enough time
2. Too early, children/partner still asleep/in bed
3. Have to get out the door
4. Some people donÂ’t eat breakfast
5. Eat it as I walk around getting ready in the morning
6. No breakfast table
7. Different tastes
8. Eat breakfast at work
9. Munch it as I leave the front door
10. People are doing their own thing (waking/getting up at different times, being out and about)

Skipping breakfast makes you fat, says Kelloggs’ survey


London: Do you skip breakfast most mornings? If yes then youÂ’re not alone, as almost half (45%) of the UK admits to skipping breakfast regularly.

If you think this doesnÂ’t effect you then read on to find out why you really should Mind the GapÂ…Â…

Seven great reasons to make time for breakfast

· FACT: Studies show that people who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight. If you’re trying to shed some unwanted pounds then you may think you can save a few calories by skipping breakfast. Whilst this may sound like a good idea, in fact what happens is that people who skip breakfast tend to overcompensate for the calories they miss at breakfast and end up eating MORE calories throughout the day, not less.

FACT: For people of all ages breakfast cereal provides key nutrients that improve the nutritional balance of the overall diet. A bowl of fortified cereal provides 25% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for the vitamins folate, thiamin, niacin, B6, riboflavin and B12 and 17% of the RDA for iron. And because cereal is usually eaten with milk you’re also getting a good dose of calcium. Research shows that if you miss the opportunity to stock up on these important nutrients at breakfast you will struggle to make them up during the rest of the day. Some nutritionists even suggest that missing breakfast leads not just to a ‘nutrient gap’ but a huge great nutrient chasm.

· FACT: After fasting overnight blood glucose levels are at an all-time low and may explain why people who don’t refuel with breakfast have difficulty concentrating and struggle to get through the morning.

· FACT: People who eat breakfast in the morning are less likely to fall victim to the mid morning snack attack

· Starting the day with a bowl of wholegrain cereal is an easy way to boost your fibre intake. A bowl of Kelloggs All-Bran provides a massive 45% of the Guideline Daily Amount for fibre.

· Surveys show that 4 out of 10 women under the age of 35 are low on iron. A 30g bowl of fortified cereal in the morning provides 17% of the RDA for iron and ensures you are starting the day as you mean to go on.

· Breakfast is the perfect opportunity to get a head start on your 5-A-Day target. A small glass of fruit juice counts as one of your recommended minimum 5 servings of fruit and vegetables and if you have a chopped banana, two tablespoons of raisins, dried apricots or fresh berries with you cereal, this can count as another. If you can tick off two servings of fruit at breakfast, then squeezing in three more during the rest of the day should be a doddle!

So, if you do just one thing this weekÂ…set the alarm to wake you up 10 minutes earlier than normal tomorrow and make time for a bowl of cereal. So whether youÂ’re 16 or 66 youÂ’ll reap the rewards throughout the rest of the day!

A cholesterol busting breakfast…


London: The British Heart Foundation reports that 2,350 women will die of heart disease as a result of high cholesterol every week; around 123,000 deaths a year. But now a new tasty breakfast cereal, Kellogg’s Optiva, offers a simple and enjoyable step towards cholesterol reduction.

Addressing cholesterol may be on most people’s “to do” list for tomorrow, but taking active steps today could mean less to worry about in the future. Starting the day with a bowl of Kellogg’s Optivita can be your first step.

Kellogg’s Optivita is made with oat bran, the naturally active fibre found in oats, which acts like a sponge, soaking up and subsequently removing ‘bad’ cholesterol from the body.

Made with crispy wholegrain oat bran flakes and delicious clusters, KelloggÂ’s Optivita is available in two varieties; Raisin Oat Crisp with sweet juicy raisins and Berry Oat Crisp containing freeze-dried strawberries, blueberries and blackcurrants.

Cholesterol & Heart Disease Facts:

1. High cholesterol is the biggest factor in coronary heart disease

2. Heart disease is the biggest cause of death in the UK

3. Heart disease in women is 10 times more common than breast cancer

4. 70% of people over 45 have raised cholesterol

5. 10% of deaths from heart disease in the UK could be avoided if everyone lowered their cholesterol level, and this can be done through simply making some fundamental changes to their daily diet- visit for useful ideas.

Michael Livingston, Director H·E·A·R·T UK suggests, “a healthy heart is one of the keys to enjoying a long and fulfilling life, and H·E·A·R·T UK would encourage everyone to better manage his or her cholesterol. Choosing to eat a breakfast cereal such as Kellogg’s Optivita which, as part of a healthy diet, could help to reduce your cholesterol levels and ensure a healthier heart for future.”

Research shows that people who eat breakfast tend to have lower cholesterol levels and are less likely to be overweight than those who skip breakfast.

According to Registered Nutritionist Cath MacDonald, “Eating fatty foods,

being overweight and a lack of regular physical activity can lead to raised blood cholesterol.”

“We all know that eating healthily and finding time to exercise can be difficult when a busy schedule gets in the way. But by making Kellogg’s Optivita a part of your daily breakfast routine, you’ll be taking a simple and easy step in the right direction to actively reduce your blood cholesterol levels.“

KelloggÂ’s Optivita contains all the cholesterol reducing benefits of oat bran, plus it has no added salt and is low in saturated fat. It is widely available in most major UK supermarkets. Optivita Raisin Oat Crisp is priced at ÂŁ2.59 and Optivita Berry Oat Crisp at ÂŁ2.89 for 375g.

For further information on managing cholesterol, general ways to ensure heart health and for access to inspiring success stories, visit the KelloggÂ’s Optivita website at: www.choose-to-beat-cholesterol.comThe website also invites people to share ideas on how to make a positive change in their lives through participating in online forums and receiving regular medical updates.

· H·E·A·R·T UK is a UK registered charity primarily concerned with the prevention and risk management of cardiovascular diseases with particular attention to inherited high cholesterol. For further information contact 01628 628 638 or email

· One 40g serving of Kellogg’s Optivita provides at least 1g of beta glucan soluble fibre found in oat bran, which is one quarter of 3g, the suggested daily intake, 30% more than any other cereal

· Cholesterol is a type of fat (lipid) found in your blood. High levels of cholesterol in the blood can lead to narrowing and blockage of arteries, increasing the risk of developing coronary heart disease