How Skipping Breakfast Is Bad for Your Waistline

Breakfast eaters consume much fewer calories throughout the day than skippers.

Skipping breakfast can lead to weight gain, according to new research. Those who eat a high-protein breakfast are less likely to consume unhealthy food throughout the day. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user Charlie Gross Photography.

Sucking down a cup of coffee in lieu of breakfast on your way out the door may suppress your appetite for a bit, but doing that regularly could lead to weight gain and unhealthy habits for the rest of the day.

That’s according to new research, which found that 18 percent of Americans older than age two skip breakfast regularly. Researchers say skipping breakfast can cause you to lose out on key daily nutrients.

Various studies of young people have found that those who eat breakfast get 17 percent of their daily calories from the meal. In addition, much of their daily recommended key nutrients come from breakfast, including 58 percent of vitamin D, 42 percent of vitamin B12, and 41 percent of vitamin A.

In comparison, throughout the day, breakfast skippers eat 40 percent more sweets and 55 percent more soda. They also consume 45 percent fewer vegetables and 30 percent fewer fruit.

For one particular study, lead researcher Heather Leidy, an assistant professor of nutrition and exercise physiology at University of Missouri, had teenagers either skip breakfast, eat a high-protein breakfast, or eat a normal-protein breakfast. She found that those who skipped breakfast or ate a normal-protein breakfast ate 200 more calories throughout the day than those who consumed a high-protein meal.

Not only did the protein eaters stay full for longer periods, but results from MRI’s showed that those who had a high-protein breakfast also experienced a reduction in brain signals that control food desires.

Leidy says the results show encouraging people to eat hearty breakfasts may be one way to reduce obesity rates.

The results were presented at the Institute of Food Technologists 2012 Annual Meeting & Food Expo.