Vanderbilt Study Still Debunking Myth That Breakfast Promotes Weight-Loss

Dr. Schlundt - who studies the psychology of eating behavior - says there is some basis for eating breakfast because it's often a healthier meal than lunch or dinner. Still, the latest study finds those who eat breakfast end up consuming more calories than those who skip it. Credit: Jorolist via Flickr

Dr. Schlundt – who studies the psychology of eating behavior – says there is some basis for eating breakfast because it’s often a healthier meal than lunch or dinner. Still, the latest study finds those who eat breakfast end up consuming more calories than those who skip it. Credit: Jorolist via Flickr

Good news for everyone who feels bad for skipping breakfast. A morning meal isn’t as important as most dieters think…at least according to the latest research. It draws its conclusion from what’s considered the seminal study on breakfast and weight loss conducted at Vanderbilt more than two decades ago.

Dr. David Schlundt is still one of the only researchers to actually test whether eating a morning meal promotes weight loss. And his work still pops up every few year.

“We got cited on the back of the Special K cereal box. So that’s my best academic citation ever,” he says.

The results of the trial have often been misinterpreted, Schlundt says.

The study had overweight participants eat the same number of calories. Those who usually skipped breakfast were told to eat in the morning. And those who always ate breakfast stopped. Both groups dropped weight, but those who ditched breakfast lost even more.

Schlundt says breakfast just isn’t a big deal.

“If you’re the kind of person who tolerates breakfast well, it’s a good idea,” he says. “If you just can’t do breakfast, then you’re fine.”

What the Vanderbilt study did find – confirmed in the latest American Journal of Clinical Nutrition – is that a key to dieting is just changing up whatever is routine.

Please keep your community civil. Comments will be moderated prior to posting, and Nashville Public Radio reserves the right to approve them at its discretion. Comments containing links promoting goods, services - even noble organizations - will not be published. Your comments may include external links, but all comments with links will be delayed as they are reviewed. Comments containing profanity will be rejected.