Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?

Katie Leyton

When we were younger, there always seemed to be a bowl of cereal or the smell of pancakes and warm maple syrup to greet us in the morning. Regardless of whether we were hungry, our mothers sat us down and made us eat. After all, they said breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

In college, it seems, breakfast doesn’t exist — at least not one that is healthy and well balanced.

Most of us (myself included) skip the so-called “most important meal of the day.” We find ourselves either running out the door for a 7:45 a.m. class or sleeping in until 1 p.m.

But what happens when you don’t eat breakfast in the morning?

At the University of Bath, a study was conducted in 2014 that split 33 people into two groups. One of them ate breakfast, and the other did not.

However, the differences between these two groups at the end of the six weeks were minimal. No one gained or lost weight; no one got sick; no one died.

From a research perspective, there is no real, scientific evidence proving our mothers correct. And skipping breakfast does have its benefits, according to a study in 2013 by John Berardi. In his study, the doctor recommends that people with Type 2 diabetes substitute breakfast for a bigger lunch. Others who skip breakfast, Berardi found, reported eating less food throughout the day compared to breakfast-eaters.

Now before you go blaming your mother for feeding you lies of breakfast and Santa Claus, there are some advantages to eating a well-balanced meal at the start of the day. Breakfast does decrease overall appetite, improve learning and academic performances and improve blood sugar control.

So what does this mean?

Listen to your body. Breakfast should be thought of as optional, based on individual preference. If you wake up famished and feel that breakfast helps you to get going and supports your weight goals, then keep enjoying your eggs and bacon. Or, if you wake up without an appetite, wait until lunch or find a happy medium: brunch.

Your body has amazing mechanisms to let you know when you are hungry and full — listen to them! Of course, what you actually eat plays an important role in it all, but for now, it’s up to you.

Contact Katie Leyton at [email protected].