Friday, June 26, 2009

Breakfast-skippers beware

If you think you're too busy for the first meal of the day, you might want to reconsider, especially if you're struggling to keep your weight down. You've probably heard that skipping breakfast is bad, because it makes you stuff yourself more at the two remaining meals of the day, but now doctors (actual MDs, mind you!) have performed a study detailing exactly what happens when a person skips breakfast.

Participants in the research study skipped breakfast and then were subjected to a functional MRI scan, which allows doctors to see how blood flow increases in response to brain activity. During the scan, the participants were shown randomly ordered photos of high-calorie and low-calorie foods. It turned out that the reward center of the person's brain became more active when shown the high-calorie option as opposed to the low-calorie choice!

However, when the participants had breakfast 90 minutes prior to the functional MRI scan, the activity of the brain's reward center was not significantly greater when shown photos of the high-calorie foods versus the lower-calorie options.

No wonder donuts for lunch seems like such a good idea after skipping breakfast!

So if you are finding it difficut to eat smaller, healthier portions at lunchtime, you might want to give breakfast, the good ol' base of the food pyramid, greater priority in your daily life.

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