Almost every dietary manipulation that the public has taught to hold onto like a sacrament is based on weak or even non-existent scientific evidence. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eat breakfast and you’ll have more energy and keep your weight down is the supposed reason. Where did these beliefs one come from? Well somebody (actually somebodies) decided to test the premises.

Two papers in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined these issue. The causal role of breakfast in energy balance and health: a randomized controlled trial in lean adults by Betts, et al showed: “Contrary to popular belief, there was no metabolic adaptation to breakfast (eg, resting metabolic rate stable within 11 kcal/d), with limited subsequent suppression of appetite (energy intake remained 539 kcal/d greater than after fasting; 95% CI: 157, 920 kcal/d). Rather, physical activity thermogenesis was markedly higher with breakfast than with fasting (442 kcal/d; 95% CI: 34, 851 kcal/d). Body mass and adiposity did not differ between treatments at baseline or follow-up and neither did adipose tissue glucose uptake or systemic indexes of cardiovascular health.”

A second paper The effectiveness of breakfast recommendations on weight loss: a randomized controlled trial concluded: “A recommendation to eat or skip breakfast for weight loss was effective at changing self-reported breakfast eating habits, but contrary to widely espoused views this had no discernable (sic) effect on weight loss in free-living adults who were attempting to lose weight.” 

I like breakfast. I sometimes eat it. But it’s for fun, not any health benefit. Soon I’ll return to dietary salt. There are important new data available as to what the optimum salt intake should be.