Now you have a better and a bigger reason to not skip your breakfast. According to a study by researchers from Loma Linda University School of Public Health (LLUSPH), making breakfast the largest meal of the day helps maintain your Body Mass Index (BMI). The people who made dinner their largest meal of the day were at the risk of developing a higher BMI with increased risks of numerous diseases.
The study was conducted on more than 50,000 participants, where the researchers discovered four factors associated with a decrease in the body mass index. Researchers discovered four factors that were associated with a decrease in the BMI:
- Eating only one or two meals per day
- Maintaining overnight fast up to 18 hours
- Eating breakfast instead of skipping it
- Making breakfast or lunch the largest meal of the day
Out of these four factors, making breakfast the largest meal had shown significant decrease in the BMI.
According to the researchers, there were two factors associated with higher BMI; one was eating more than three meals a day in which snacks were counted as extra meals and second making dinner the largest meal of the day.
Gary Fraser, MBChB, PhD, a professor at LLU Schools of Medicine and Public Health said that irrespective of meal pattern, there was, on average, an increase in weight gain year by year until participants reached the age of 60. After age 60, most participants experienced a weight loss each year.
“Before age 60 years, those eating calories earlier in the day had less weight gain,” Fraser said, adding that after age 60, the same behaviour tended to produce a larger rate of weight loss than average. “Over decades, the total effect would be very important.” The team employed a technique called linear regression analysis and adjusted their findings to exclude demographic and lifestyle factors that might skew the results.
Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD recommends a practical weight management strategy which includes eating breakfast and lunch, skipping dinner, avoiding snacks, making breakfast the largest meal of the day and fasting overnight for up to 18 hours.