BETHESDA, Md., Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Starting the day with breakfast is good but it probably won't affect your weight much, a U.S. paper on eating habits and obesity indicates.
The findings go against the conventional wisdom that eating breakfast helps prevent over-eating later in the day because of hunger.
The report, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at more than 20 years of literature on the subject and at controlled nutritional trials that found skipping breakfast had little or no effect on weight gain.
A 12-week study at Vanderbilt University showed moderately obese adult women who usually skipped breakfast lost about 17 pounds each when they switched to eating breakfast every day -- and regular daily breakfast eaters who were asked to skip the morning meal lost an average of around 20 pounds, The New York Times reported.
Both groups were on diets with the same amount of calories.
"Those who had to make the most substantial changes in eating habits to comply with the program achieved better results," the study, which involved 52 overweight adult women, concluded.
Dr. David B. Allision, director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham said the paper's findings "showed no effect over all of eating versus skipping breakfast, that people do equally well on either one."