One egg or two?

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Are you someone who enjoys a good breakfast? Then you may be able to help a local project getting underway.

Researchers at the University of Bath want to recruit local volunteers for a new study to understand more about the effects of different types of breakfast on our health.

The four-week study, being run by a team from the Centre for Nutrition, Exercise and Metabolism, will require participants to stick to a particular breakfast plan over the course of a month.

With participants randomly assigned into different groups, this will involve eating either a typical porridge breakfast that is either fortified or not fortified with protein; or will require participants to skip breakfast altogether consuming no energy until midday each day.

By doing this, the researchers want to understand more about the impacts of different types of breakfast on our health, for example our body weight, activity levels, energy intake, insulin levels as well as the changes in the genes that control our body clock.

Lead researcher Harry Smith explained: “Following our previous research, we are interested in whether some of the reported benefits of protein ingestion at breakfast result in improvements in our metabolic health.

“For this study we will ask you to stick to an allocated breakfast for 28-days. We will assess your body’s response to a standardised meal both before and after this period to see the effects of each breakfast intervention on the various aspects of your metabolism.

“We will also ask you to wear an activity monitor and record the food you eat before and during the 28-days. With this, we will be able to provide you with detailed feedback on both your diet and physical activity levels.”

Co-Director of the Centre for Nutrition, Exercise and Metabolism, Professor James Betts adds: “Breakfast is a meal which the majority of people consume every day and also a time when we tend to consume more similar foods everyday than at other meals. This means that fortifying common breakfast foods can be an effective simply way to modify the overall diet.”

The work builds on recent high-profile and wide-reaching studies from the research team in the University’s Department for Health on different aspects of physiological and metabolic health.

In 2011, the team published some of the most detailed findings to date on the effects of breakfast which has led to widespread global news coverage. In 2020, two studies led by PhD students, Harry Smith and Aaron Hengist, looking at the effects of over-indulgence and the impact of coffee in the morning, generated widespread reach. Both research papers were nominated for the award ‘study of the year’ by the British Journal of Nutrition.

To find out more and volunteer for the breakfast study see – Take part in our study analysing how breakfast routine affects our energy balance and metabolism. Participants will be asked to visit the lab on the University’s Claverton Down campus on three separate occasions.

To find out more or take part email hs565@bath.ac.uk .