Why You Shouldn't Skip Breakfast

Published 23 July 2007
Out of the three meals a day, breakfast is considered the most important, but is also the most frequently missed.

So why are people missing this important meal? Here are some of the reasons why we shouldn't skip this 'most important' meal of the day...

1) Breakfast is supposed to "break the fast." After 8 to 12 hours of sleep, your blood sugar levels will be low and your brain and muscles tired. Waking up is hard to do at the best of times, but it's even harder to keep going if you don't refuel. The body needs a meal to produce the sugar necessary to get you going each day.

2) A balanced breakfast should provide about a quarter of your daily needs for essential nutrients. When breakfast is skipped, the missing nutrients -- particularly iron, calcium and fibre - are not made up in subsequent meals and snacks. So a regular breakfast can help ensure that you meet daily requirements and have a better nutrition profile over the rest of the day.

3) Breakfast helps to regulate your appetite throughout the day. It also jumpstarts your metabolism, which slows down overnight. So missing breakfast to reduce calorie intake is definitely not the answer for weight loss. Breakfast skippers tend to eat more food at the next meal or nibble on high-calorie snacks to curb hunger. Their diets tend to be higher in overall calories and fat than those who enjoy a morning meal. Moreover, dieters who have breakfast tend to be more successful at shedding pounds.

4) A wake-up meal can help you perform better in school, at work or at play by keeping you more alert, improving your ability to concentrate and retain information. When it comes to children, breakfast actually helps them learn better. Kids who skip breakfast have trouble focusing and tend to be inattentive, restless and irritable by late morning. Those who eat breakfast have been found to have better test scores and lower rates of absenteeism.

5) Eating behaviors developed during childhood can last a lifetime. If you never had breakfast as a child, it is likely that you are one of the 30 percent of adults who still skip breakfast... and your children could be doing the same thing.

The incidence of childhood obesity is rising; the percentage of overweight children tripling since the 1960's. Teaching kids to eat a healthy breakfast is one way to help reduce these concerning statistics.

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