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Brain Scans Suggest Not Skipping Breakfast

People who skip breakfast may end up eating more and making less healthy food choices throughout the day, according to a new study. Eating breakfast, on the other hand, helps people avoid overeating and cravings for high-calorie foods. The study showed that people who skipped breakfast had a variation in the pattern of activity in their orbitofrontal cortex, an area of the brain linked to the reward value and pleasantness of food. Specifically, pictures of high-calorie foods triggered activity in this area of their brain. The study authors noted, however, that if the participant ate breakfast, this response was not as strong. The researchers concluded that fasting is not a good dieting strategy because it may cause the brain to seek out high-calorie foods. Presented at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting, Oct 2012.