The study concluded that when people ate high-quality protein foods, from sources such as eggs and lean Canadian bacon, for breakfast they had a greater sense of sustained fullness throughout the day compared to when more protein was eaten at lunch or dinner.
"There is a growing body of research which supports eating high-quality protein foods when dieting to maintain a sense of fullness," said Wayne W. Campbell, PhD, study author and professor of Foods and Nutrition at Purdue University.
"This study is particularly unique in that it looked at the timing of protein intake and reveals that when you consume more protein may be a critical piece of the equation," Campbell added.
The study included overweight or obese men who ate a reduced calorie diet. The diet consisted of two variations of protein intakes, both which were within federal nutrition recommendations: normal protein intake (11-14 percent of calories) or increased protein (18-25 percent of calories).
The researchers tested the effect of consuming the additional protein at specific meals - breakfast, lunch or dinner - or spaced evenly throughout the day.
Purdue researchers found that the feeling of fullness was greatest and most sustained throughout the day when the additional protein, from eggs and lean Canadian bacon, was eaten at breakfast - versus lunch or dinner.