The late author and nutritionist Adelle Davis’ famous health tip—“Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper”—has gained ground anew, thanks to a new study by researchers from the Czech Republic.
The study, presented during the American Diabetes Association’s scientific session in Chicago last month, revealed that eating two large meals early and skipping dinner may result in significant weight loss than consuming six small meals with the same nutritional and calorie content.
The researchers from the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague followed 54 patients with type 2 diabetes for six months. The study participants were randomly split into two groups. For the first three months, one group ate three main meals—breakfast, lunch and dinner—and three small snacks in between meals. The other group ate a hearty breakfast between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and a filling lunch between noon and 4 p.m.
The two groups then switched for the second three months. The researchers asked the patients not to alter their exercise habits during the duration of the study.
Over three months the patients who ate just breakfast and lunch lost an average of 1.23 points in body mass index (BMI) compared to a loss of only 0.82 by those who ate six small meals. For most people, BMI is a fairly reliable indicator of body fat, which is computed by taking one’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of the person’s height in meters.
Adults who are overweight or obese are more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, approximately 80 to 90 percent of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese.
Avoiding those extra pounds will surely translate to a long range of health benefits. And in the case of people suffering from type 2 diabetes (like the study subjects of the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine), conquering their weight problem upon diagnosis of their illness could actually make them take control of their blood pressure and blood sugar better. Moreover, research studies have found that moderate weight loss and exercise can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes among adults at high-risk of this debilitating disease.
For the longest time, many weight-loss studies have come up with methods to help people overcome their weight problems. The Czech researchers’ claim is worth a try. Besides, finding out ways to shed off those extra pounds—that in turn could improve one’s health—is never a waste of time.