The Association between Breakfast Skipping and Body Weight, Nutrient Intake, and Metabolic Measures among Participants with Metabolic Syndrome.

Nutrients. 2017;9(4)

Plain language summary

There is conflicting evidence on the benefits of either skipping breakfast versus the idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This study examines the effects of skipping breakfast on weight loss in a group of 240 participants diagnosed as having Metabolic syndrome (MetS). The study looked at data from a diet trial looking at the effects of a high fibre diet or the American Heart Association diet on MetS, in which they all also monitored breakfast eating patterns, to see if there was any change to body weight, nutrient intakes, and selected metabolic measures. The study lasted one year, and dietary recalls were collected throughout. The results showed that at the start of the trial 32.9% of the participants self-reported regularly skipped breakfast and generally they had lower levels of vitamins B1, B3 and folate intake. They also had a higher fat intake compared to those who ate breakfast. However, at the end of the year there was no statistical differences between those who ate and those who skipped breakfast when it came to the other metabolic parameters of weight, BMI, weight circumference, blood pressure, cholesterol, and fasting glucose. Interestingly at the end of the trial only 14% reported skipping breakfast suggesting that participants had the intention to change their eating patterns because of having participated in the trial. The study concluded that skipping breakfast alone was not enough to influence MetS.


undefined: The effect of skipping breakfast on health, especially in adults, remains a controversial topic. A secondary data analysis was conducted to examine associations between breakfast eating patterns and weight loss, nutrient intake, and metabolic parameters among participants with metabolic syndrome (MetS) ( = 240). Three randomly selected 24-h dietary recalls were collected from each participant at baseline and at the one-year visit. Skipped breakfast was seen in 32.9% at baseline and in 17.4% at the one-year visit, respectively. At baseline, after adjustment for demographics and physical activity, participants who ate breakfast had a higher thiamin, niacin, and folate intake than did breakfast skippers ( < 0.05); other selected parameters including body weight, dietary quality scores, nutrient intake, and metabolic parameters showed no significant differences between the two groups ( ≥ 0.05). From baseline to one year, after adjustment for covariates, mean fat intake increased by 2.7% (95% confidence intervals (CI): -1.0, 6.5%) of total energy in breakfast skippers in comparison to the 1.2% decrease observed in breakfast eaters (95% CI: -3.4, 1.1%) ( = 0.02). Mean changes in other selected parameters showed no significant differences between breakfast skippers and eaters ( > 0.05). This study did not support the hypothesis that skipping breakfast has impact on body weight, nutrient intakes, and selected metabolic measures in participants with MetS.

Lifestyle medicine

Fundamental Clinical Imbalances : Hormonal ; Immune and inflammation ; Structural
Patient Centred Factors : Mediators/Metabolic syndrome/diet
Environmental Inputs : Diet
Personal Lifestyle Factors : Nutrition ; Exercise and movement
Functional Laboratory Testing : Blood ; Urine

Methodological quality

Jadad score : 3
Allocation concealment : Yes
Publication Type : Journal Article