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Mom Was Right Again... Eat Breakfast

Posted by Marc Siegel on Mar 4, 2013 9:07:00 AM

Mom always said “you must have breakfast; it is the most important meal of the day.” Well it looks like mom was right again. Below are three of the many studies showing the breakfastpositive effects of having breakfast.

A study from the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Nursing showed children who regularly eat breakfast get significantly higher scores in verbal and performance IQ tests.

"In one of the first studies to examine IQ and breakfast consumption, researchers examined data from 1,269 six year old children in China, where breakfast is highly valued. After adjusting for seven sociodemographic confounders, they concluded that children who did not eat breakfast regularly had 5.58 points lower verbal, 2.50 points lower performance, and 4.6 points lower total IQ scores than children who often or always ate breakfast.

“Childhood is a critical period in which dietary and lifestyle patterns are initiated, and these habits can have important immediate and long-term implications,” said lead author Jianghong Liu, PhD, RN, FAAN, associate professor at Penn Nursing. “Breakfast habits appear to be no exception, and irregular breakfast eating has already been associated with a number of unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, frequent alcohol use, and infrequent exercise.”"1

A study from the Dairy Research Institute found that people who skip breakfast weigh more and have more unhealthy habits than those who eat breakfast

"Research shows about 18 percent of Americans older than age 2 regularly skip breakfast, said Nancy Auestad, PhD, vice president of regulatory affairs at the Dairy Research Institute. They are missing out on key nutrients, she said, pointing to statistics that show breakfast-eaters get about 17 percent of their daily calories from breakfast as well as a significant portion of their daily recommended intake of several key nutrients, such as Vitamin D (58 percent), Vitamin B12 (42 percent) and Vitamin A (41 percent).

In addition, studies of young people found that breakfast-skippers consume 40 percent more sweets, 55 percent more soft drinks, 45 percent fewer vegetables and 30 percent less fruit than people who eat breakfast."2

Lastly, a study from the University Of Minnesota School Of Public Health presented by Andrew Odegaard, PhD, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota, found some staggering results regarding those who do not eat breakfast.

"The study included more than 5,000 men and women; none of which had type 2 diabetes when they entered the study.

Seven years into the study, they filled out diet questionnaires that included a question asking how many times a week they ate breakfast. They were followed for an average of 18 years.

People who ate breakfast daily, compared to people who ate breakfast three or fewer times per week, were:

  • 34% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes

  • 43% less likely to become obese

  • 40% less likely to develop fat around the abdominal area

People who ate breakfast at least four to six times per week, compared to people who ate breakfast three or fewer times per week, were:

  • 24% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes

  • 25% less likely to become obese"3

After reading all three studies, I am glad I had my six egg white omelet with mushrooms this morning! Did you eat breakfast this morning?

1 "Can Breakfast Make Kids Smarter?" Can Breakfast Make Kids Smarter? University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, 12 Feb. 2013. Web.

2 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). "Skipping breakfast can lead to unhealthy habits all day long." ScienceDaily, 29 Jun. 2012. Web.

3 Laino, Charlene. "Eat Breakfast, Cut Diabetes Risk." WebMD. WebMD, 14 June 2012. Web.

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