File - This Feb. 1, 2012, file photo shows Kellogg's cereal products in Orlando, Fla. Cereal makers have paid for studies that support the belief that eating breakfast can help keep us thin. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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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.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.When citing past studies, scientists also tended to mischaracterize inconclusive results in favor of breakfast.As eventually published in 2013, it concluded that nourishing breakfasts – including those with cereal – should be encouraged.General Mills, which has funded studies about breakfast, cereal and weight, declined to comment.Another study funded by Kellogg last year found breakfast consumption was not consistently linked with differences in weight among Canadian adults. Yoni Freedhoff, an obesity expert at the University of Ottawa, said many of his patients find protein-rich breakfasts help control their appetites. Yet he noted that breakfast studies are often funded by cereal makers, and look specifically at cereal.
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