New research presented at the Obesity Society’s annual scientific meeting on Nov. 13, 2013 found that “eating a breakfast rich in protein significantly improves appetite control and may help women to avoid overeating later in the day.”  The women, aged 18-55 consumed either a protein-rich breakfast or a low-protein breakfast and then asked to consume a standard lunch meal (whenever they were hungry), until they were comfortably full.  All breakfast meals contained approximately 300 calories and similar quantities of fat and fiber. The protein-rich breakfast bowls contained 30 to 39 grams of protein mostly from egg and sausage.  The low-protein meal consisted of pancakes and syrup and the standard lunch offered was tortellini and sauce.

Results of the study showed that participants had improved appetite ratings (lower hunger, more fullness, less desire to eat) throughout the morning and also consumed fewer calories at lunch after eating the protein-rich breakfast, rather than the low-protein breakfast.

Although Americans in general (typically meat eaters), consume more than enough protein throughout the day, most of it is consumed at dinner with the least amount consumed at breakfast, if consuming breakfast at all.  Breakfast skipping is a common behavior which can lead to overeating later in the day.  This study helped to demonstrate that consuming a protein-rich breakfast can curb appetite and possibly help overeating later in the day in women.

Reference: Leidy, H. Acute Satiety Effects of Sausage/Egg-based Convenience Breakfast Meals in Premenopausal Women. Presented at: Obesity Society’s Annual Scientific Meeting; Nov. 14, 2013; Atlanta, GA.

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