Study: Skipping breakfast linked to weight gain

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BURBANK, Calif. (CBS) At Priscilla's Cafe in Burbank, California, many customers start their day with a light breakfast.

"It sets you up well for eating well and your meals the rest of the day so you're not crashing," restaurant-goer Alison Puzio said.

Now, a new study says a regular meal in the morning could help you stay slim. Mayo Clinic researchers analyzed the breakfast habits of about 350 adults. They found people who ate breakfast regularly only gained about 3 pounds over the past year. People who ate breakfast occasionally put on about 5 pounds. People who skipped a morning meal entirely put on about 8 pounds and developed dangerous belly fat.

"It's the fat that produces toxins that damage the blood vessels," said Dr. Virend Somers, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic.

Somers says researchers are still working to figure out the correlation between breakfast and weight. His leading theory:

"If you eat breakfast, if you eat a good breakfast in the morning, you're less likely to be hungry during the course of the day," he said.

Breakfast regular Jewel McPherson agrees.

"I never feel, like, famished, like I need to overdo anything because I already feel energized from the start," McPherson said.

Researchers say making breakfast a habit for young people could help them maintain a healthy weight as adults.