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Skipping Breakfast a Weighty Problem

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Skipping breakfast is not a good way to try to lose weight.

A study says people who eat a breakfast of cereal or even a muffin or bagel are likely to be slimmer than those who skip the meal altogether.

``What seems clear is skipping breakfast is not good for you. It doesn't help you lose weight or maintain a low body weight. It's just the opposite,'' said Gladys Block, the senior author of the study and director of the Public Health Nutrition Program at the University of California at Berkeley.

Her study found that eating cereal or even a muffin for breakfast is associated with a signficantly lower body weight compared to skipping breakfast or eating a breakfast of bacon and eggs.

The study, funded by Kellogg, compared what 16,000 Americans ate for breakfast with their body mass index, a formula used to measure ideal weight based on height.

The thinnest people ate hot cereal for breakfast, followed closely by cold cereal. The fattest people ate either only dairy products or breakfasts consisting of eggs, meat and potatoes.

But it also found that people who skip breakfast weighed more than those who ate cereal, despite consuming fewer calories per day. Even people who ate fruit for breakfast weighed more than cereal-eaters.

This certainly confirms what we've been telling people,'' said Alice Lichtenstein, professor of nutrition at Tufts University.Eating breakfast is especially important, both for mental alertness and for maintaining a healthy body weight. And the choice of what one eats for breakfast does have an impact. One is better off with things like cereal or bagels than with bacon and eggs.''

©2003 Boston Herald. All rights reserved.

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