Heather Leidy, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri, says people may have an easier time preventing weight gain by eating a healthy, protein-rich breakfast such as waffles made with protein powder.
"Everyone knows that eating breakfast is important, but many people still don't make it a priority," Leidy says in a statement. "This research provides additional evidence that breakfast is a valuable strategy to control appetite and regulate food intake."
For three weeks, teens in the study either skipped breakfast or consumed 500-calorie breakfast meals containing cereal and milk, which contained normal quantities of protein, or higher protein meals such as the protein-added Belgium waffles, syrup and yogurt.
At the end of each week, the volunteers completed appetite and satiety questionnaires and before lunch, the volunteers completed a brain scan, using functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify brain activation responses, Leidy says.
The study, published in the journal Obesity, finds both breakfast meals led to increased fullness and reductions in hunger throughout morning The fMRI showed brain activation in regions controlling food motivation and reward was reduced prior to lunch.