Six weeks of morning fasting causes little adaptation of metabolic or appetite responses to feeding in adults with obesity

Enhad Chowdhury, Judith d. Richardson, Javier t. Gonzalez, Kostas Tsintzas, Dylan Thompson, James A. Betts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (SciVal)


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of sustained morning fasting or breakfast consumption on metabolism, energy intake, and appetite in healthy adults with obesity. Methods: An independent-measures randomized controlled trial with baseline and follow-up laboratory assessment days separated by a 6-week intervention of either morning fasting (0 kcal until 12:00 pm) or daily breakfast (> 700 kcal by 11:00 am) was performed. Measures included metabolic outcomes (glucose, insulin, nonesterified fatty acids), hormones regulating appetite (total/acylated ghrelin, peptide YY, leptin), and energy expenditure (diet-induced thermogenesis) parameters throughout a laboratory test day and ad libitum intake following a fixed breakfast. Results: Allocation to fasting versus breakfast resulted in minimal adaptation as reflected by the metabolic outcomes or the majority of appetite regulatory outcomes for either area under curve or time-course-based measures (P > 0.05). Ad libitum lunch intake was not different (P = 0.13), nor was diet-induced thermogenesis or a composite appetite score (both P > 0.10). However, there was a reduced total area under the curve for peptide YY (P = 0.05) and increased postprandial hunger ratings (P = 0.05) in the breakfast group. Conclusions: There was little evidence of metabolic adaptation to acute feeding or negative consequences from sustained morning fasting. This indicates that previously observed differences between breakfast consumers and skippers may be acute effects of feeding or may have resulted from other lifestyle factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-821
Number of pages9
Issue number5
Early online date29 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2019 The Authors Obesity published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Obesity Society (TOS).


  • Fasting, breakfast, metabolism, energy intake, hormones


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