May 27/Lenexa, Kan./Drovers CattleNetwork -- Increased dietary protein at breakfast may reduce cravings and alter the neural activity in brain regions associated with food motivation, according to a University of Missouri study published in Obesity.

In this study, 10 overweight teenage girls were examined. Participants were provided with, in randomized order, normal protein or higher protein breakfast meals to consume at home for six days.

On day seven of each pattern, the participants came to the laboratory to consume their respective breakfast followed by appetite questionnaires and a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scan to identify brain activation responses to viewing food versus nonfood images prior to lunch.

Researchers found that the addition of breakfast led to alterations in brain activation in regions previously associated with food motivation and reward with additional alterations following the higher-protein breakfast.

 

These data suggest that increased dietary protein at breakfast might be a beneficial strategy to reduce reward-driven eating behavior in overweight teen girls. Due to the small sample size, caution is warranted when interpreting these preliminary findings.

 

From the May 31, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.