Cereal makers have happily encouraged the belief that eating breakfast can help keep us thin and bring other benefits, partly by paying for studies that seem to support the idea.

So, does that mean breakfast is bad for you? Not that either. What it does show is how difficult it can be to sort the hype from reliable dietary advice when studies are funded by the makers of Froot Loops, nutrition science is often inconclusive, and gray areas can be spun for marketing.

Take Special K. In the 1990s, Special K boxes featured findings that people who didn’t normally eat breakfast lost more weight after they started doing so.

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