By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — How you start your morning could decide your weight and future health.

This is more evidence about the importance of eating breakfast.

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A new study says adults who eat in the morning are less likely to gain weight and develop dangerous belly fat.

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At this cafe, many customers start their day with a light breakfast.

Credit: (CBS3)

“It sets you up well for eating well and your meals the rest of the day, so you’re not crashing,” said Alison Puzio, who has a habit of eating breakfast.

The new study says a regular meal in the morning could help people stay slim.

Mayo Clinic researchers analyzed the breakfast habits of about 350 adults.

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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, while those who skipped a morning meal entirely gained about 8 pounds and developed dangerous belly fat.

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

Researchers are still working to figure out the correlation between breakfast and weight.

“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,” Dr. Somers explained.

Breakfast regular Jewel McPherson agrees.

“I never feel 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.

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Doctors say it’s best to have a healthy breakfast, something with low fat protein and healthy carbs like fruit and yogurt and it is best to avoid high density sugar filled foods like donuts.

Stephanie Stahl