Background: The role of nutrient timing in energy intake amongst people with dysglycaemia is understudied but could be a simple method to help regulate appetite. This study analysed within-person associations of sugar intake at breakfast and subsequent energy intake.
Methods: We used 4-day diet diary data from 147 participants (47 % men) encompassing 547 days of diet recording in the Sedentary Time and Metabolic Health in People with Type 2 diabetes project (STAMP-2). Linear two-level models were used to investigate within- (day-level) and between-person (participant-level) variation in total and post-breakfast energy intake according to skipping breakfast, low- (> 0-14.2 g) or high- (> 14.2 g) sugar intake at breakfast, adjusting for potential confounding or mediation.
Results: Post-breakfast energy intakes were observed to be lower after eating low- and high-sugar breakfasts (compared to skipping), but higher total energy intake was associated with eating a high-sugar breakfast. Compared to breakfast skipping, both low- and high-sugar breakfasts were strongly associated with lower post-breakfast energy intake (-178, 95 % confidence interval [CI] -261, -94 kcal/d; ‑151, 95 % CI -235, -67 kcal/d, respectively). However, compared to skipping breakfast, low-sugar breakfasts were weakly associated with higher total daily energy intake (64, 95 % CI -18, 146 kcal/d), whereas high-sugar breakfasts had a strong association (135, 95 % CI 52, 217 kcal/d). Post-breakfast energy intakes were similar between low- and high-sugar breakfast days (27, 95 % CI -53, 106 kcal/d), whilst total daily energy intake tended to be higher with high- (compared to low-) sugar breakfasts (70, -8, 149 kcal/d). We also observed evidence of energy compensation whereby 86 % of the extra energy consumed in a low-sugar breakfast was compensated for by reductions in post-breakfast energy intakes, compared to only 53 % after a high-sugar breakfast.
Conclusion: Overall, high-, but not low-, sugar breakfasts were associated with higher total daily energy intake when compared to breakfast skipping, despite a similar reduction in post-breakfast energy intake. We found evidence of poorer post-breakfast energy intake compensation with high-sugar breakfasts than low-sugar breakfasts. These findings suggest portion size may be important to consider in future breakfast research, with sugar being a proxy of portion size.