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J Nutr. 2018 Jan 1;148(1):13-21. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxx004.

Postprandial Metabolism and Appetite Do Not Differ between Lean Adults that Eat Breakfast or Morning Fast for 6 Weeks.

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Department for Health, University of Bath, Bath, UK.
School of Life Sciences, Queen's Medical Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.



It remains unknown whether sustained daily feeding-fasting patterns modify the acute response to specific feedings on a given day.


We conducted a randomized controlled trial to establish if daily breakfast consumption or fasting until noon modifies the acute metabolic and appetitive responses to a fixed breakfast and ad libitum lunch.


With the use of a parallel group design, we randomly assigned 31 healthy, lean men and women (22-56 y) to 6 wk of either consuming ≥700 kcal of self-selected items before 1100 or fasting (0 kcal) until 1200 daily. Following 48 h of diet and physical activity standardization, we examined metabolic and appetite responses to a standardized breakfast and ad libitum lunch before and after the intervention. Data were analyzed using 3- and 2-way ANCOVA.


Systemic concentrations of energy balance regulatory hormones total and acylated ghrelin, leptin, and peptide tyrosine-tyrosine) responded similarly to breakfast and lunch before and after 6 wk of either morning fasting or regular breakfast, with the exception of a tendency for increased glucagon-like peptide-1 concentrations from baseline to follow-up in the Breakfast Group compared with a decrease over that period in the Fasting Group [P = 0.06, partial eta squared value (ƞ2) = 0.16]. Subjective appetite sensations also did not differ over the course of the day, and ad libitum energy intake at lunch was not systematically affected by either intervention, decreasing by 27 kcal (95% CI: -203, 149 kcal) with fasting and by 77 kcal (95% CI: -210, 56 kcal) with breakfast. Similarly, glycemic, insulinemic, lipemic, and thermogenic responses to breakfast and lunch were very stable at baseline and follow-up and, thus, did not differ between treatment groups.


Our results indicate that a sustained period of either extended morning fasting or eating a daily breakfast has minimal effect upon acute metabolic and appetite responses in lean adults. This trial was registered at as ISRCTN31521726.


appetite hormones; breakfast skipping; energy intake; insulin sensitivity; second-meal effect

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