Eating breakfast every day may be the first step in fighting teen obesity.

A new study shows teenagers who eat breakfast regularly eat a healthier diet and are more physically active throughout their adolescence than those who skip breakfast. Years later, they also gained less weight and had a lower body mass index (BMI), a measure of weight in relation to height used to measure obesity.

“Although adolescents may think that skipping breakfast seems like a good way to save on calories, findings suggest the opposite. Eating a healthy breakfast may help adolescents avoid overeating later in the day and disrupt unhealthy eating patterns, such as not eating early in the day and eating a lot late in the evening,” says researcher Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, PhD, of the University of Minnesota, in a news release.

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