Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Why You Should Probably Just Ignore All Breakfast Studies

By Evan-Amos (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
As has been my tradition, in December I repost old favourites from years gone by. This year am looking back to 2016.
Ugh, breakfast stories.

Such a frustrating topic in nutrition as for both health reporters and diet gurus it would seem that there is no middle ground, breakfast is positioned either as essential or pointless.

Well I'll tell you what's pointless - "breakfast" studies.

I'm putting breakfast in quotations because virtually all the is it good for you or not breakfast studies seem to study breakfast as a whole.

Seems to me that regardless of your chosen end point (be it weight, appetite, hunger, adiposity, heart disease, insulin, school performance, whatever) what a person eats for breakfast will matter a great deal, and just studying whether or not a person ate breakfast, will lump together bowls of Froot Loops with almond topped steel cut oats, and Pop Tarts with summer vegetable omelettes.

My experience, born out of a dozen years of working with thousands of patients on weight management, has been that for most, a protein rich breakfast benefits all-day satiety, whereas a bowl of ultra-processed, sugar-fortified carbs, doesn't. And please note, I said most, not all.

Ultimately breakfast matters for some and not for others, and if you're curious whether or not it's important for you, what you choose to eat for breakfast is going to play a big role in your answer.

And for the love of everything holy, please, please, stop reporting on "breakfast" studies, whether you or they are pro or con, as if they're able to make conclusions about the utility of breakfast as a whole.