To Skip or Not to Skip: Breakfast


(photo credit)

You’ve heard this mantra over and over again, “Eat your breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day!” Is there any truth to it, or are we blindly complying with an inaccurate proverb? According to an NPR  article, eating habits have changed, most significantly with the millennial generation. In previous years, breakfast, lunch, and dinner times were highly regimented and the idea of a “family meal” was imbedded in societal norms. Now, however, it seems that millenials are more irregular in their meal times and actually skip eating breakfast more often than older generations. This is an interesting finding. I think that eating behaviors can give insight as to what the values are for a particular time period. Family values were much more stressed back then. They aren’t completely gone now, but there is definitely a noticeable change in how the family unit is appreciated. Although an average job requires the employee to work five days a week starting at 9 a.m. and leaving at 5 p.m., there is an increasing demand to work beyond that five day, eight hour period. Because of this growing mentality that one must work beyond the set hours or days, meals are often skipped and they do not have the same importance or emphasis as they once had. This change is quite alarming to nutritionists and scientists alike. The motto of eating breakfast does not seem to apply to the younger generation, which goes against not only scientific research but also what they’ve grown up being told. And, naturally, anything that goes against a societal norm is “wrong.” Or is it?


(photo credit)

Numerous studies have tried to show a correlation between not eating breakfast and being obese. The Huffington Post cited a 2013 study that analyzed the scientific backing behind such claims, and found that skipping breakfast did not cause obesity. David Ludwig, obesity researcher at Harvard School of Public Health, had said that the emphasis shouldn’t be on what time you eat, but rather, what you eat. For instance, if you are a habitual breakfast eater, but your breakfast consists of sugary foods such as donuts or cereals, you aren’t benefitting your body in the slightest. Simple sugars found in foods like these don’t satisfy your hunger for a long period of time. Instead, those foods actually induce fat storage in your body and can make you hungrier, faster. Drew Ramsey, a Columbia University psychiatrist, weighs in on what makes a “good” breakfast. Anything high in protein (such as eggs) wards off hunger pangs by making you feel more full because it slows down your digestive system. So, circling back to the original question of is breakfast the most important meal of the day, I would have to side with no. I think the importance of eating breakfast comes from the nutritional value of the food you’re consuming, and not the timeframe in which you are consuming it. Also, it depends on how hungry you are when you wake up. If you find yourself not being hungry, then don’t consume the extra calories. However, do not deprive yourself of a meal if you are hungry, because that could lead to over-eating later in the day.

4 thoughts on “To Skip or Not to Skip: Breakfast

  1. Hannah Gluck

    I have always loved to sleep in during the mornings, and I once I finally get up I always found myself in a rush so it wouldn’t be unusual for me to skip breakfast. So I guess I agree with you that breakfast doesn’t have to be the most important meal of the day. I think it definitely depends on the person. For example, if someone was used to a larger breakfast but one day accidentally skipped it, they would not feel as well during their day. But for me, I have always skipped a morning meal so I wouldn’t feel any difference. I think this topic is different for every person. Im not that hungry when I wake up, so I don’t feel the need to have a full meal, I can last until lunch without one. But someone else might disagree with me, they might be very hungry in the morning and need a meal before going out. Overall I think this is a good discussion topic but it is definitely depends on the person, everyone might have a different view.

  2. jgb5274

    I just recently became a “breakfast person” over the summer when I had a lot more time I would make fancy breakfasts and smoothies and overall I felt better throughout the day than if I would skip breakfast. Its understandable, especially at college that there isn’t much time to make breakfast so you end up skipping it all together. I try as much as possible to eat something in the morning even if its just a bar because it keeps my metabolism going. Here is an article of quick breakfast foods that are better to eat rather than skipping the meal:

  3. Matthew Porr

    I have never been a breakfast eater whether it be because I don’t allow myself enough time in the morning to eat breakfast or because I am not all the hungry in the morning. My whole life I have been told to eat breakfast before school and I will have better performance. During standardized testing, my school would provide us with food before taking the test in hopes of better scores. However I don’t think it is important to eat breakfast at all. I think it is more important to have small meals more regularly throughout your day because it keeps your metabolism running causing you to lose weight. This may be where the idea of “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” comes from because it kick starts your digestive system for the day but I don’t think that it is the exact formula to losing weight. So no maybe it isn’t the most important meal of the day but it could possibly be a healthy way to start your day.

  4. Wesley Scott Alexander

    I too don’t really believe that breakfast is the “most important meal of the day”. I recently have started skipping breakfast on most days and I actually feel better than before! This is called “intermittent fasting” and there is actually research that shows it has many health benefits.

Leave a Reply