Breakfast for the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

2 Citations (SciVal)


Regular breakfast consumption is commonly advised by public health authorities to assist with weight loss or maintenance. This advice is primarily based on observational evidence which cannot infer cause and effect. Randomised controlled trials suggest that 6-weeks of breakfast consumption increases daily energy intake in lean individuals, which is at least partially offset by an increase in energy expenditure via physical activity. Therefore, the net effect on daily energy balance is close to nil. In obese individuals, 6-weeks of breakfast consumption appears to produce broadly similar effects on energy balance. When randomised controlled trials are extended to 16 weeks, the evidence is consistent, where the advice to consume breakfast has no clear effect on weight loss, when compared to advice to skip breakfast, or a control group with general dietary advice. Therefore, there is currently no clear evidence that advice to consume breakfast has any substantial efficacy or effectiveness in the prevention or treatment of obesity. Nonetheless, there may be some metabolic health effects of regularly consuming breakfast, with consistent evidence that markers of insulin sensitivity improve with regular breakfast consumption, compared to extended morning fasting. The optimal breakfast composition to achieve a negative energy balance and improve metabolic health remains to be determined. Similarly, the interactions between other health advice (such as to be physically active) and to consume breakfast, require assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPractical Guide to Obesity Medicine
EditorsJolanta Weaver
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780323485593
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'Breakfast for the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this