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People who eat breakfast are significantly less likely to be obese and diabetic than those who don't

Scientists have spent the past 40 years conducting breakfast-related studies that show that everybody from kids to teens to adults benefit mightily from beginning each day with breakfast.

People who eat breakfast are significantly less likely to be obese and diabetic than those who don’t, say researchers who presented a study in March at the American Heart Association’s 43rd Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention.

"The biggest cause of overeating is undereating," says Katherine Tallmadge, a registered dietician in Washington, D.C., and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association (ADA).

"If you eat breakfast, you’re better able to meet your fibre and nutritional needs, and you’re less likely to snack inappropriately," says registered dietician Effie Akerlund of Toms River, N.J. "... When you eat breakfast, you tend to eat more regular portion sizes at lunch and dinner."

Breakfast skippers can actually put on weight, in part because they’re ravenous by lunchtime. "They tend to eat larger portions," Akerlund says.

Breakfast can go a long way toward fulfilling the daily recommended intake of fibre (25 grams for women, 38 grams for men). Fibre is important to keep things going quickly through your system, says Tallmadge, and for lowering cholesterol: Without it, "You can’t even come close to your fibre requirements," Tallmadge says.