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Research

Effect of breakfast on weight and energy intake: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l42 (Published 30 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l42
cropped thumbnail of infographic

Visual summary available

A GOfER diagram (Graphical Overview for Evidence Reviews) showing a visual summary of the included trials from this review.

Opinion

Breakfast—the most important meal of the day?

Rapid Response:

Re: Effect of breakfast on weight and energy intake: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

It is disappointing that this week the BMJ has opted for a tabloidesque cover.

This article throws some doubt on the ‘breakfast is important for dieters’ mantra but as the authors point out even in relation to this outcome the evidence is not conclusive.

Regular meals, including breakfast, are frequently advocated as important in spreading glycaemic load in Diabetes and in reducing symptomatology in dyspepsia, although scrutiny of the evidence does not lead to certainty. Much has been written about the importance of breakfast for schoolchildren.

We know that dietary interventions are potentially very important to promote health but looking closely at the available evidence it can be difficult to be sure how to advise our patients on many aspects of nutrition. Trying to find references for this response increased my uncertainty as to the validity of my dietary advice in a range of areas…

In reality how does this help the GP to advise an overweight patient with DM and GORD, or an overweight young person whose grades have been falling off?

The review and meta-analysis by Sievert et al may have made a small dent in the breakfast question but I don’t think it has been cracked, let alone smashed.

Competing interests: No competing interests

04 February 2019
Alison A Rodgers
GP
The Archway Surgery, Armagh