It’s probably good to skip breakfast!


It’s probably good to skip breakfast!

(for adults, but follow with a good lunch)

This is the hot topic following this weeks release of an article in the flagship American Journal of Nutrition. The Editorial backs it up as well and it will not please the breakfast cereal industry.

I have been a longstanding breakfaster and ‘fuel’ up for the day, but generally have a small lunch and then ‘meat and veg’ for dinner. Belinda, however, has been a ‘break faster’. Subtle difference but she has fuel when she wants to and often not until the traditional lunchtime.

As a society we are eating too much and as a result too many calories and not good quality ones.

The study showed that in 2132 people that the non breakfast people that broke their fast later consumed less calories overall on those days. The conclusions being drawn are that can have far reaching benefits for weight control without loss of nutrient value.

“provides strong, corroborating evidence against the long-held myth that skipping breakfast may cause overeating later in the day but should be heralded as a wake-up call to the fields of nutrition, psychology, and public health to the beginning of brave new world.

… they convincingly demonstrate that total daily intake was between 100 and 200 kcal less than on those days when breakfast was not consumed. ..

The consequence of skipping breakfast, therefore, is a straightforward and feasible strategy to reduce total daily energy intake.

Consequently, skipping breakfast should be enough to reduce, at least, the rate of gain in weight for people who regularly consume breakfast.

These results can be easily translated into advice to the public that skipping breakfast is an effective way of decreasing total daily intake. If acquired as a habitual behavior, such a reduction in daily energy intake will result in a lessening of the rate at which we are gaining weight.

Of course, skipping breakfast will result in a reduction of the amount of nutrients consumed daily simply as a result of eating less food. However, we do not know whether the elimination of breakfast will lead to nutrient deficiencies. There is no reason why foods normally consumed at breakfast cannot replace foods consumed at other meals. We must continue to push the advice to consume nutrient-dense foods at every eating occasion.

Unfortunately, the advice to eliminate breakfast will surely pit us, as nutritional scientists, against the very strong and powerful food industry. This industry has an economic interest in maintaining the current rate of energy ingestion by the population and will resist any suggestion that Americans reduce their total daily energy intake.

From everything we know about energetics, reducing our daily energy intake by as little as 100 kcal/d will have a beneficial effect on the rate of yearly increase in our body weight and, ultimately, on our health system.

The food industry is not driven to see us eat more food for nefarious reasons but rather is forced by the very structure of our economic system. Companies must show an increasing annual profit so that their shareholders will not withdraw their financial investments in search of companies that do (11). The predominant way that the industry can show increased profits is to sell us more food bundled in different packages under different names.

If we are truly concerned about the health of the American public, we must stand against these powerful forces and proclaim that we can no longer eat just because food is available. Rather, we must learn to live with consuming less energy. The article by Kant and Graubard (1) provides us with one easy way to accomplish this: skip breakfast.”

Food for thought!