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A slim by design breakfast

Breakfast preferences of healthy-weight people

Cornell Food & Brand Lab

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IMAGE: What we know about the behaviors and preferences of the "mindlessly slim. " view more

Credit: Cornell Food and Brand Lab

Time and again we've been told: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This refrain has proven particularly truthful for people who are trying to lose weight. To gain insight into what breakfast eating habits would be beneficial to those seeking to lose weight, a Cornell Food & Brand Lab research team sought to find out what healthy weight people eat for breakfast.

The research team established an online Slim by Design registry to investigate characteristics and behaviors of people who are at a healthy weight and do not struggle with weight problems (see the infographic). 147 people (118 female) participated in the registry by answering questions about their breakfast patterns. Specifically, they responded to the question: "On an average day, what would you have for breakfast?"

The study showed that the most common breakfast items consumed by slim people were The study showed that the most common breakfast items consumed by slim people were fruits (51%), dairy (41%), cold cereal / granola (33%), bread (32%), eggs (31%), hot cereal (29%), coffee (26%). Only 4% of participants indicated that they didn't eat breakfast.

"One important take away from this study is that a very high rate of slim people actually eat breakfast instead of skipping, which is consistent with previous research on the importance of breakfast," explains lead author Anna-Leena Vuorinen, "But what stands out is that they not only ate breakfast, but that they ate healthful foods like fruits and vegetables. Also, egg consumption was higher than we expected." If the Food and Brand Lab has a refrain of its own it's: do what slim people do.

The findings of this study, conducted by Anna-Leena Vuorinen, of VTT Technical Research Centre Of Finland, PhD student at the University of Tempere and currently a visiting scholar at the Food and Brand Lab, Camille Finn a Nutrition Sciences major at Cornell University, and Brian Wansink, PhD, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab and author of the book Slim by Design, are being presented at Obesity Week 2015, Los Angeles, CA on November 4th at 11:45 am PT.

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