Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? Well, maybe not quite. Some have taken this “health advice” to heart, sometimes actually messing it up even more while at it. I mean, what’s the point of not missing “the most important meal of the day” by eating some unhealthy cereal, for instance?
Moreover, “breaking the fast” can mean different things to different people. Whereas breakfast is synonymous the first (morning) meal because one is presumed to been asleep for several ours during the night, sleep patterns differ.
Some people are “night owls”. Others work at night. These can have a different time of the day at which to break their fast.
Studies on the importance of breakfast usually have a conflict of interest, due to being funded by the food industry in most cases, especially cereal makers. Bias, therefore, cannot be ruled out. Many of these studies focus on children (duh!) and most of them indicate that kids who eat behave and perform better in school as well as being thinner. How true is this?
It appears to be true generally, going by the studies available. However, it is still hard to establish reasonable accuracy without tracing the children’s eating habits right from their homes.
Also, the root of finding that children who eat breakfast perform better in school may be that some children simply do not get enough to eat. Many children get school lunches but not breakfasts. Much of the research is geared toward ascertaining the importance of school breakfast programs.
Some recent findings seem to dilute the power of breakfast. Looks like it is just another meal you should eat when hungry and no big deal if missed. In fact, some say it is healthy to skip breakfast. Our take?
Don’t sweat the small stuff; keep it simple and eat healthy based on your individual needs. A recent article in the New York Times by pediatrics professor, Aaron E. Carroll, discusses this breakfast thing in greater detail.