Posted: 01 Apr 2010 05:00 AM PDT

No! This is NOT an April Fool joke!

As readers know, I have often blogged about the importance of having breakfast to better manage your weight.

Now, a study in mice, suggests that it is not just important to have breakfast but to also make sure that it is high in fat if you really want to get your metabolism going.

This, at least, was the finding in a study by Molly Bray and colleagues from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Alabama, just released online in the International Journal of Obesity.

The study shows that when mice were fed a high-fat meal at the beginning of their active period (breakfast), they were better able to deal with variations in diet composition during the rest of their wake phase than when they were given a high-carbohydrate meal at the beginning of their activity cycle.

Conversely, when they were given the high-fat meal at the end of their active phase (dinner), they gained weight and developed glucose intolerance, hyperinsulinemia, hypertriglyceridemia, and other features of the metabolic syndrome.

Importantly, these changes were independent of daily total or fat-derived calories.

This study adds to the growing evidence that biological rhythms profoundly influence energy homeostasis and that the time at which certain foods are eaten may be as important as the composition of those foods.

Translated to humans, this would mean that it may be better to start the day with a heavy “English breakfast” consisting of fried bacon, eggs, sausage and other high-fat fare, than with the increasingly common “continental” breakfast of bread, cereals, low-fat milk, fruit juice and other “healthy stuff”.

Certainly a most interesting study that would certainly warrant testing in humans.

Perhaps the old saying, “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen, dinner like a pauper“, is right after all.

AMS
Edmonton, Alberta
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