By better understanding how fat responds to food at different times of day, Gonzalez says, scientists may be able to target those mechanisms more precisely. “We may be able to uncover new ways to prevent the negative consequences of having a large amount of body fat,” he says, potentially by doing something as simple as eating breakfast on a daily basis.
Plenty of research has found that eating breakfast is important for weight maintenance, metabolism and overall good health. Now, the evidence gets even stronger: a small new randomized controlled trial finds that regularly eating a substantial morning meal directly affects how fat cells function in the body by changing the activity of genes involved in fat metabolism and insulin resistance. The findings suggest that eating breakfast every morning may help lower people’s risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, the study authors say—and that even if a morning meal increases a person’s total calorie consumption, those calories may be offset by other energy-burning benefits.