Breaking the fast

Anna Duszkiewicz

Students divided on relevance of “the most important meal of the day”


Credit: Ron Soltys

The alarm clock goes off. Get up. Shower. Throw on some clothes. Book it to class.

So goes a typical morning in a college student’s life. But what about breakfast?

While people tend to agree with the cliché that it’s the most important meal of the day, many are quick to skip breakfast without a second thought.

Busy? Not hungry? No excuse

“There are three main excuses why people say they don’t eat breakfast,” said Rose Ann Chiurazzi, dietitian for the Student Recreation and Wellness Center’s nutrition program. “One is that they’re not hungry; the other is that they don’t have time, and the third is they’re trying to lose weight.”

Some people just don’t like eating in the morning.

“I’m not hungry in the morning,” Mike Neczeporenko, senior technology education said. “I usually don’t get hungry until noon.”

Chiurazzi said that can be changed with time.

“You can have a very small amount of something, and hopefully with time your body will get used to eating earlier, and you will be able to eat a more substantial breakfast,” she said. “You don’t necessarily have to eat first thing in the morning when you wake up, but you shouldn’t wait until lunch to eat.”

Several types of fresh fruit and yogurt are available at Kent Market in the Student Center. Kent Market offers many quick breakfast selections for students who do not have time in the morning for a full meal.

Chiurazzi knows many people are crunched for time.

“If you just want to shower, get dressed and head out the door, then you should probably take something on the go with you,” she said. “You can take a cereal bar or a smoothie, and maybe eat it an hour or two after you wake up to try and get something going there.”

Why it’s important

Chiurazzi said eating a well-balanced breakfast is crucial.

“The word breakfast means ‘break the fast,'” she said. “When you wake up in the morning, your body is in a fasting state. It’s kind of like a conservation state. You need breakfast in order to kick off your metabolism and to get your body going.”

Chiurazzi said some benefits of breakfast include increased alertness, a higher energy level and a boosted metabolism.

Some people skip breakfast in an effort to lose weight. However, Chiurazzi said breakfast eaters have better chances of losing weight than those who skip their morning meal.

“Eating breakfast will boost your metabolism,” she said. “It’s been found that people who eat earlier in the day are more in control later on in the day.”

Anna Neubauer, senior French translation major, said she always tries to eat breakfast because if she doesn’t, she gets hungry later in the day. “I think if I didn’t eat breakfast I’d eat junk food all through the day,” she said. “I don’t eat until lunch, so if I skip breakfast I’m starving by 10 o’clock or so and eating candy.”

Chiurazzi also said that even if a person doesn’t feel hungry in the morning, his or her body knows it needs food.

“Your body is going to make up for it at some point, usually in the evening,” she said. “When people eat more in the evening while they’re studying, for example, they gain more weight that way because they’re not up and burning it off.”

Where to start?

Breakfast is important, point taken. But what’s healthy to eat?

“An ideal breakfast would be something that has a balance of protein and carbohydrates,” Chiurazzi said.

She said good sources of protein are yogurt, a slice of cheese, a glass of milk, peanut butter, cottage cheese and eggs. Carbohydrates can include toast, bagels, crackers, cereal and fruit.

Sophomore nursing major Jenna Wenzel seems to have built the ideal breakfast combination. “I usually eat cottage cheese and pineapple, or yogurt with granola,” she said.

Contact features correspondent Anna Duszkiewicz at [email protected].