Breakfast is the most important meal of the day: it’s a dietary truth few would disagree with, TheGuardian reports. Missing breakfast, warn experts, is a recipe for raiding the office vending machine later and piling on the pounds.

When Dr James A Betts, lead researcher for the Bath Breakfast Project, is asked by people how important breakfast is, he says that the jury is still out. His team’s latest research – a randomised controlled trial published this month in theAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition – shows that neither obese people who eat breakfast, nor those who miss it, lose weight.

These are similar findings to the team’s earlier study of lean people, who were found to have consumed in excess of 500 calories more a day on average if they ate breakfast. Betts says that people don’t catch up on the calories they skipped at breakfast, but instead compensate by preserving energy – they fidget less at their desk or take the lift over the stairs, which, over the days, mounts up as burning fewer calories.

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