BOB HIRSHON (host):
Can a little vice be virtuous? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
Dessert at breakfast may help dieters lose weight, according to endocrinologist Daniela Jakubowicz at Tel Aviv University. She divided obese volunteers into two groups, each allowed the same number of calories per day: 1400 for women; 1600 for men. But while one group started each day with a low-cal breakfast, the other group had a higher calorie breakfast that included cake or a cookie. Both groups dropped about 30 pounds over four months. But after that, the people who got breakfast treats kept on losing, while the other group began gaining weight back. Jakubowicz says an early treat helps to suppress appetite later in the day.
In other news, researchers at Coventry University in the UK report that elderly mice given caffeine showed improved muscle strength; they suggest that caffeine may also boost strength in older people. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.