While everyone knows that eating breakfast is important, it’s estimated that 60% of teens regularly forego this meal. A new study examined the effects of normal and higher levels of protein at breakfast on brain activity among breakfast-skipping, overweight and obese teenage girls. Brain signals were monitored by magnetic resonance imaging, prior to lunch. The protein-rich breakfast led to reductions in brain signals associated with motivation and eating behaviours three hours after consuming the meal. The differences in brain signals before and after the breakfast correlated with lower perceived hunger and desire to eat. Passing up breakfast has ben associated with unhealthy snacking, overeating and weight gain. The study’s authors call for further investigation to see whether these brain alterations actually reduce overeating later in the day. However, the findings do provide more evidence that a higher intake of protein at breakfast can be a valuable strategy to help control appetite and regulate food intake.
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