The study involved overweight or obese non-insulin dependent people with type 2 diabetes. The subjects were split into two groups, both groups were on low kilojoule anti-diabetes diets but they had very different breakfasts. One group had a big breakfast that contributed 33 per cent of their daily kilojoules while the other group had a small breakfast that contributed only 12.5 per cent of total daily kilojoules. The big breakfast also provided a higher percentage of daily protein and fat.

After 13 weeks it was found that those who had the big breakfast experienced greater reductions in blood pressure and HbA1c (a measure of long term blood sugar) than the small breakfast group. Additionally, among the big breakfast group, 31 percent of subjects were able to reduce their medication dose while none in the small breakfast group were able to do this. By contrast, 17 percent of the small breakfast group actually increased their medication dose compared to only three percent in the big breakfast group.

It seems that the big breakfast is probably promoting release of hormones like ghrelin that lead to feeling satiated. The end result is better food choices through the day and better blood glucose control.

This is not a license for diabetics to tuck into pancakes and syrup for breakfast, but it is an indication yet again that a substantial breakfast of well-chosen healthy foods has long term metabolic effects throughout the day.