There’s been some recent debate about whether breakfast is the most important meal of the day or not, but two new studies from the United Kingdom seem to put that question to rest for the moment with evidence that eating a big breakfast probably keeps you healthy. According to data from two comprehensive reviews of existing nutrition research, published yesterday in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, there might be some health benefits to eating a big breakfast since irregular mealtimes and eating more calories at night could be correlated with a higher risk of metabolic syndromes, like high blood pressure, and obesity.
Americans and Brits are currently eating more calories as the day progresses, meaning that breakfast is fairly light while dinner is the main, caloric event every day, with some unplanned snacking in between. But the researchers found “positive link between evening energy intake and obesity,” so the pattern of mealtimes should probably be the reverse in order to prevent obesity. Dr. Gerda Pot, visiting lecturer at King’s College London and lead author of these studies, summed up her team’s findings succinctly in a press release: “There seems to be some truth in the saying, ‘Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.’”
While the evidence is compelling, Dr. Pot also called for “further investigation,” since there are lots of gaps in the existing body of literature. More large-scale studies need to be completed in order to fully understand how timing of meals, rather than composition, has an impact on health and nutrition.
But until that future research is completed, I’d still probably hedge your bets and dive into a bacon, egg, and cheese every morning. It’s probably good for your health, after all.