Why you should never forget breakfast…

Many women who lead busy lives end up skipping breakfast, but new research from the University of Tel Aviv has shown that eating a big breakfast can have a positive impact for women with polycystic ovary syndrome.

Women with PCOS can produce too much insulin, which can decrease fertility by affecting ovulation, and are often told that losing weight will help balance insulin levels – and cutting out breakfast can seem a good way to deal with this.  However, not everyone with PCOS is overweight and this particular study looked at women who fall within the normal weight range. One group were given a high-calorie breakfast, average lunch and low-calorie supper, and the others were given a low-calorie breakfast, average lunch and high-calorie supper – but both groups had the same number of calories in total each day.

The results showed that although neither group had experienced any weight loss or gain, the group who ate a big breakfast saw a drop in their levels of insulin and testosterone – and they had a 50% increase in their ovulation rate!

This isn’t going to be a weight-loss solution, but the research team believe that eating a big breakfast and smaller supper could also have an impact on some of the other symptoms which are often associated with PCOS such as skin problems and excess body hair. You can read more about the research here 






Body Mass Index – does it need changing?

How much we weigh and whether or not we are over or underweight is an important issue for many fertility patients. NHS treatment is often confined to those who fall within the “acceptable” range and are not considered to be obese or underweight as it is known that  this can affect fertility.  However, the ways in which we judge what constitutes obesity or low weight have often come in for some criticism.

The BMI formula which uses your height and bodyweight to work out your position on a weight scale has now been challenged by an Oxford Professor who feels it is flawed and has devised a new formula.  You can find more details here and can assess your weight using his revised working.

Having always fallen into the normal weight category using BMI, I wasn’t delighted to discover that I’m on the cusp of being overweight using this new scale, but apparently the main change in this new proposal is that many short people (like me!) who had a normal BMI will become overweight and many tall people who were obese or overweight will now fall into the normal category.

Perhaps it just goes to show that weight isn’t quite as cut and dried a matter as we tend to believe!