Background: Breakfast consumption is recommended, despite inconclusive evidence of health benefits.
Objective: The study's aim was to ascertain whether eating breakfast (EB) or omitting breakfast (OB) affects energy intake, energy expenditure, and circulating insulin, glucose, and lipid concentrations in healthy women.
Design: In a randomized crossover trial, 10 women [x+/-SD body mass index (BMI; in kg/m2): 23.2+/-1.4] underwent two 14-d EB or OB interventions separated by a 2-wk interval. In the EB period, subjects consumed breakfast cereal with 2%-fat milk before 0800 and a chocolate-covered cookie between 1030 and 1100. In the OB period, subjects consumed the cookie between 1030 and 1100 and the cereal and milk between 1200 and 1330. Subjects then consumed 4 additional meals with content similar to usual at predetermined times later in the day and recorded food intake on 3 d during each period. Fasting and posttest meal glucose, lipid, and insulin concentrations and resting energy expenditure were measured before and after each period.
Results: Reported energy intake was significantly lower in the EB period (P=0.001), and resting energy expenditure did not differ significantly between the 2 periods. OB was associated with significantly higher fasting total and LDL cholesterol than was EB (3.14 and 3.43 mmol/L and 1.55 and 1.82 mmol/L, respectively; P=0.001). The area under the curve of insulin response to the test meal was significantly lower after EB than after OB (P<0.01).
Conclusion: OB impairs fasting lipids and postprandial insulin sensitivity and could lead to weight gain if the observed higher energy intake was sustained.