Plain language summary
Breakfast has been considered the most important meal of the day. However, despite the fairly consistent association of breakfast consumption with decreased body weight, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have shown equivocal results. The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs evaluating the effect of skipping breakfast on body composition and cardiometabolic risk factors over a period of at least 4 weeks. This study is a systematic review and meta-analysis of RCTs. A total of 425 participants were included in the meta-analysis. Participant range of age was 18 to 65 years old, with a mean age of 35 years. This study demonstrates that breakfast skipping compared with breakfast consumption over the short-term (4 to 16 weeks) results in weight loss without significant changes in other body composition parameters. Furthermore, breakfast skipping, as compared with breakfast consumption, led to significant increases in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Authors conclude that although breakfast skipping had a modest impact on weight loss in the short term, its long-term impact on body composition and cardiometabolic health requires further study.
OBJECTIVE The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of skipping breakfast on body composition and cardiometabolic risk factors. METHODS This study conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating breakfast skipping compared with breakfast consumption. Inclusion criteria included age ≥ 18, intervention duration ≥ 4 weeks, ≥ 7 participants per group, and ≥ 1 body composition measure. Random-effects meta-analyses of the effect of breakfast skipping on body composition and cardiometabolic risk factors were performed. RESULTS Seven RCTs (n = 425 participants) with an average duration of 8.6 weeks were included. Compared with breakfast consumption, breakfast skipping significantly reduced body weight (weighted mean difference [WMD] = -0.54 kg [95% CI: -1.05 to -0.03], P = 0.04, I = 21.4%). Percent body fat was reported in 5 studies and was not significantly different between breakfast skippers and consumers. Three studies reported on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), which was increased in breakfast skippers as compared with breakfast consumers (WMD = 9.24 mg/dL [95% CI: 2.18 to 16.30], P = 0.01). Breakfast skipping did not lead to significant differences in blood pressure, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, C-reactive protein, insulin, fasting glucose, leptin, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance, or ghrelin. CONCLUSIONS Breakfast skipping may have a modest impact on weight loss and may increase LDL in the short term. Further studies are needed to provide additional insight into the effects of breakfast skipping.