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Staying Slim Doesn’t Depend on Eating Breakfast

Has anyone ever told you that skipping breakfast causes you to gain weight by slowing your metabolism? Well, the next time someone does, you can tell them that claim is just a bunch of baloney (with a side of toast). According to the New York TimesAsk Well blog, the notion that breakfast is essential for good health dates back to the 1920s. During that time, Edward Bernays, a public relations consultant for a pork company, created a nationwide media campaign to encourage the public to eat breakfast, particularly bacon and eggs. Americans, it seems, were receptive to the message that hearty comfort food first thing in the morning was a recipe for wellness. Even scientists got on board: In the following decades, observational studies consistently found that people who ate breakfast weighed less.

So, what’s the problem, you ask? These observational studies merely showed a correlation between eating breakfast and being leaner—they did not show that eating breakfast caused people to be leaner. Maybe people who regularly ate breakfast tended to have other healthy habits, like exercising more or smoking less, that helped them be more fit. In fact, that now appears to be the case. Controlled studies that have randomly divided people into breakfast-eating and breakfast-skipping groups have demonstrated somewhat conclusively that eating breakfast is not the cause of staying trim. So much for the bacon-and-egg–weight loss connection. Nonetheless, while it doesn’t seem to be a necessity for good health, there’s nothing wrong with eating a nutritious breakfast every morning, or even indulging in a greasy diner breakfast on special occasions.

Source: New York Times

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