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The "Big Breakfast" diet study

“Big breakfast” eating pattern benefits weight loss

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Scientists studied 93 obese women who were split into two groups. Both groups ate 1,400 calories daily. One consumed half their total calorie allowance at breakfast time, the other consumed half at dinner.

One consumed half their total calorie allowance at breakfast time. Breakfast consisted of 700 calories, lunch 500 and dinner just 200. The other group consumed 200 calories at breakfast, 500 at lunch and 700 at the end of the day.

After 12 weeks women in the "big breakfast" group had each lost an average of 8.07 kg and 7.5cm off their waistlines. In comparison, women in the "big dinner" group lost 3.31 kg and 3.5cm off their waists.

The big breakfast group also experienced significant reductions in blood levels of insulin, glucose and triglyceride fats.Triglycerides, which contribute to heart disease, fell by more than a third in the big breakfast group but increased by 14.6 per cent in the "big dinner" group.

The researchers, led by Dr Daniela Jakubowicz, from Tel Aviv University in Israel, wrote in the journal Obesity: "Our results demonstrate that high-calorie breakfast shows increased compliance and is more beneficial than high-calorie dinner for weight loss, insulin sensitivity, and hunger suppression.

"Our study indicates that avoidance of large meals in the evening may be particularly beneficial in improving glucose and lipid (fat) profiles and may lead to reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases."

The study was confined to obese women showing symptoms of metabolic syndrome, a condition that can lead to diabetes. Further research is needed to see if a "big breakfast" eating pattern benefits other people.

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