High-energy breakfast with low-energy dinner decreases overall daily hyperglycaemia in type 2 diabetic patients: a randomised clinical trial

Diabetologia. 2015 May;58(5):912-9. doi: 10.1007/s00125-015-3524-9. Epub 2015 Mar 1.


Aims/hypothesis: High-energy breakfast and reduced-energy dinner (Bdiet) significantly reduces postprandial glycaemia in obese non-diabetic individuals. Our objective was to test whether this meal schedule reduces postprandial hyperglycaemia (PPHG) in patients with type 2 diabetes by enhancing incretin and insulin levels when compared with high-energy dinner and reduced-energy breakfast (Ddiet).

Methods: In a randomised, open label, crossover design performed in a clinic setting, 18 individuals (aged 30-70 years with BMI 22-35 kg/m(2)) with type 2 diabetes (<10 years duration) treated with metformin and/or diet were given either Bdiet or Ddiet for 7 days. Participants were randomised by a person not involved in the study using a coin flip. Postprandial levels of plasma glucose, insulin, C-peptide and intact and total glucagon-like peptide-1 (iGLP-1 and tGLP-1) were assessed. The Bdiet included 2,946 kJ breakfast, 2,523 kJ lunch and 858 kJ dinner. The Ddiet comprised 858 kJ breakfast, 2,523 kJ lunch and 2,946 kJ dinner.

Results: Twenty-two individuals were randomised and 18 analysed. The AUC for glucose (AUCglucose) throughout the day was 20% lower, whereas AUCinsulin, AUCC-peptide and AUCtGLP-1 were 20% higher for the Bdiet than the Ddiet. Glucose AUC0-180min and its peak were both lower by 24%, whereas insulin AUC0-180min was 11% higher after the Bdiet than the Ddiet. This was accompanied by 30% higher tGLP-1 and 16% higher iGLP-1 levels. Despite the diets being isoenergetic, lunch resulted in lower glucose (by 21-25%) and higher insulin (by 23%) with the Bdiet vs Ddiet.

Conclusions/interpretation: High energy intake at breakfast is associated with significant reduction in overall PPHG in diabetic patients over the entire day. This dietary adjustment may have a therapeutic advantage for the achievement of optimal metabolic control and may have the potential for being preventive for cardiovascular and other complications of type 2 diabetes. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01977833 Funding No specific funding was received for the study.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Breakfast*
  • C-Peptide / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy*
  • Energy Intake / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / blood
  • Hyperglycemia / diet therapy*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Meals*
  • Middle Aged
  • Postprandial Period
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Blood Glucose
  • C-Peptide
  • Insulin

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01977833