Everyone’s heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day as it refuels our bodies after a night’s sleep and gives us the energy we need to go about our days. In 2011, Kellogg’s surveyed 14,000 Americans and found that 77% of children, 36% of high school students and 34% of adults actually eat breakfast. Are the people who don’t eat breakfast at some sort of disadvantage? Recent research has shown that it might not actually be as essential as we think.
Eating a well-balanced breakfast in the morning has many benefits for our health. Firstly, eating protein restores our glucose levels (which fluctuate between rising and falling throughout the night) and gives us the energy we need to function adequately throughout the day. Furthermore, since it’s our brain’s only source of energy, eating the correct carbohydrates in the morning makes us sharper and more alert. Secondly, research has shown that eating breakfast means you are less likely to become overweight. A study done by Yunsheng Ma et al. looked at the link between eating patterns and obesity. The results showed participants who skipped breakfast were 4.5 times more likely to become obese.
On the other hand, there has been research and studies that prove eating breakfast isn’t absolutely necessary, especially for weight loss. A study conducted by the University of Alabama proved that eating breakfast has almost no effect on your weight. Their study had 300 participants who were randomly allocated to the groups: eat breakfast, skip breakfast or continue with current breakfast habits. After sixteen weeks, their initial and current weights were compared and on average each person had only lost a pound.
Additionally, breakfast isn’t the only way you can get energy in the morning. Many people prefer working out. In one study, researchers looked at 70 different studies on the effects of exercising and energy levels. Over 90% of the studies showed that people who exercised regularly had more energy and less fatigue, compared to those who didn’t exercise.
Another factor to consider is that many of the studies claiming breakfast is very important are done by health and nutrition companies which means they are likely to be biased. Kelloggs, The Quaker Oats Company etc. are obviously going to try to promote their products as helpers with weight loss and good health.
In conclusion, I think that eating a healthy and well-balanced breakfast will help you throughout the day (definitely for college students who often have long and tiring schedules). However, if you’re eating breakfast to help with weight loss, you might want to look more into that as the fact is not totally accurate.