Brain scans show that skipping breakfast makes fatty, high calorie foods appear far more attractive later in the day, according to researchers.
Scans of 21 people showed the brain was more attracted to food if breakfast was missed so people had more food at lunch.
Scientists said it made losing weight challenging as missing meals made calorific food even more appealing.
Nutrition experts say breakfast is known to take the edge off appetite.
However, researchers were curious about what happened inside the brain to alter the food people choose to eat.