Daniela Jakubowicz of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Diabetes Unit at Wolfson Medical Center said those who ate their largest daily meal at breakfast were far more likely to lose weight and waist line circumference than those who ate a large dinner.
Participants who ate a larger breakfast, which included a dessert item such as a piece of chocolate cake or a cookie, also had significantly lower levels of insulin, glucose and triglycerides throughout the day, translating into a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, the study said.
Jakubowicz, Julio Wainstein also of Tel Aviv University, and Maayan Barnea and Oren Froy at Hebrew University of Jerusalem conducted a study in which 93 obese women were randomly assigned to one of two caloric groups.
Each consumed a moderate-carbohydrate, moderate-fat diet totaling 1,400 calories daily for a period of 12 weeks. The first group consumed 700 calories at breakfast, 500 at lunch and 200 at dinner. The second group ate a 200 calorie breakfast, 500 calorie lunch and 700 calorie dinner. The 700 calorie breakfast and dinner included the same foods.
The study, published in the journal Obesity, found at the end of the study, participants in the "big breakfast" group had lost an average of 17.8 pounds each and three inches off their waist lines, compared to 7.3-pound and 1.4-inch loss for participants in the "big dinner" group.
Those in the big breakfast group were found to have significantly lower levels of the hunger-regulating hormone ghrelin, an indication they were more satiated and had less desire for snacking later in the day than their counterparts in the big dinner group, Jakubowicz said.
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