Is Breakfast Really The Most Important Meal of The Day?

The rush morning rush can be stressful for people who value their sleep.  There is just so much to do in the morning from showering to packing a bag for school or work, that eating is usually left in the back burner.  For these people, a couple extra minutes of shut eye is more important than breakfast.

Most American nutritionists insist that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  According to these nutritionists, consumption of the morning meal can help control weight gain in adults and lead to a better performance in school for children and teens.  Most of these studies were funded by Kellogg’s and similar companies.  Nutritionists in other countries will tell their patients otherwise.  Recent research done around the globe has diminished the importance of breakfast, making “The Most Important Meal of the Day,” seem like a giant American Myth.

A recent study (Barr, DiFrancesco, and Fulgoni) on Canadian adults concluded that there was little difference between adults that did eat breakfast and did not in terms of body mass index (BMI).   However among breakfast eaters, participants who ate ready to eat cereals had lower BMIs than other participants.  A similar study conducted on obese British individuals has shown that though eating breakfast in the morning  does lead to greater physical activity in the morning, it does not really lead to any weight loss.

An article published for the National Institute of health on the effect of breakfast and academic performance on children and adolescents across the globe shows a positive link between school performance and breakfast consumption.  However, these effects varied greatly among age, gender, and income.  For example, most of the studies concluded that breakfast consumption seemed to positively affect children under the age of thirteen, while they disagreed on the outcome of breakfast on children above the age of thirteen.

Overall the consumption of breakfast does not seem as important as most Americans once thought.  The evidence of these studies imply that eating breakfast is an overall healthier routine to have, as it can lead to greater physical activity, but there is no concrete evidence that breakfast is really the most important meal of the day.  So for people that find themselves in a morning rush and forget to eat breakfast, never fear, while it may leave you feeling a little sluggish, it will probably have little effect on your weight or grades.


Words by Veronica Adams