From an early age, parents, teachers and health professionals have all stressed the significance of breakfast. They tell us over and over how much value its nutrients have in us going out into the world and having an energetic and productive experience.
However, while breakfast is often considered to be most important, it is also the most skipped meal of the day. According to an article written by Marketwatch.com, 1 out of 10 Americans, or “31 million U.S consumers skip breakfast everyday stating that they either didn’t have enough time to eat or were too busy to eat. Others said they weren’t hungry yet.”
While missing breakfast may seem trivial, the effects go far beyond just a few hunger pangs. Skipping breakfast causes snacking, which in turn forces your body to wait until later in the day to eat an actual meal. Per Marketwatch.com, “Skipping breakfast could make you hungrier later in the morning or afternoon, which spikes blood sugar (which increases risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which in turn are risk factors for heart attack and stroke.)
Research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that skipping breakfast was associated with hardening the arteries and a Harvard study found that men ages 45 to 82 who skipped breakfast had a 27 percent higher risk of heart attack or death from heart disease than those who ate the morning meal.”
For students, and more specifically college students, breakfast is ultra-important. Eating breakfast increases cognitive skills and reduces stress hormones, two things that are necessary for college students to thrive.
“Breakfast consumption is associated with positive outcomes for diet quality, micronutrient intake, weight status and lifestyle factors. Breakfast has been suggested to positively affect learning in children in terms of behavior, cognitive, and school performance,” according to the National Library of Medicine and Institutes of Health.
Florida A&M senior Ofure Osabuohien says she no longer can feel the effects of skipping breakfast, but she knows they’re there. “I never eat breakfast because I just don’t have time. Cooking breakfast also takes a lot of effort. And sometimes cereal makes me feel emptier than I was before I ate it. I also try to stay away from processed foods with loads of sugar, so I just wait until lunch time and look for something I want to eat,” Osabuohien said.
Many college students think similarly to Osabuohien. Breakfast can at times be a hassle and require energy that just doesn’t seem possible to give in the morning. But ketteringhealth.org has tips for those breakfast skippers that just can’t seem to break the habit. Tips such as: waking up 15 minutes earlier than normal to have time to make breakfast, preparing ahead of time what you plan to make in the morning and have it ready once you wake up, keeping the cabinets stocked with healthy choices, and sometimes keeping it simple with just a smoothie or bowl of oatmeal is the way to go.
These are a few of the ways you can practice reaping the benefits of a balanced breakfast. For more answers to your questions about the effects of breakfast on the body and brain, visit ketteringhealth.org