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Comparing the effects of an egg vs. cereal breakfast on hunger and energy intake at lunch


Previous research has demonstrated that the foods eaten during a meal may influence energy intake during the next meal.[1] One study showed that egg breakfasts lessened the postmeal glycemic response and reduced hunger at lunch,[2] but that particular study and similar studies were conducted in lean, healthy adults. This study examined the effect of 2 eggs for breakfast vs. cereal on energy intake at lunch in participants with obesity.

The study

In a 2-day randomized controlled crossover trial, 50 overweight or obese participants were randomized to an egg group (n=33) or cereal group (n=43). The aim was to examine the effect of the different breakfasts on subjective hunger and energy intake at a lunch meal consumed 4 hours after breakfast.

The breakfasts were assigned in randomized order and were switched for the subsequent trial. The two trials were conducted with a 1-week washout period in between. The breakfast meals consisted of 2 eggs with 2 slices of toast and 10 grams of margarine or a caloric-equivalent bran cereal meal with sugar, milk, and orange juice. Lunch was provided four hours after breakfast, and the participants were instructed to eat as much as they desired. Energy consumption during lunch was measured to examine the effect of the different breakfasts on ab libitum energy intake. Subjective hunger levels before and breakfast and lunch were assessed by a visual analog scale.

The results

Energy intake during lunch was significantly reduced after the egg breakfast compared to the cereal breakfast. Subjective hunger was also reduced by the egg breakfast, whereas the participants who ate the cereal breakfast reported that hunger returned earlier compared to the egg breakfast.

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