Breakfast, though still recognized as the "most important meal of the day," is losing popularity among teens and young adults. In fact, a 2009 report from the International Food Information Council (IFIC) notes that less than half of Americans actually eat soon after rolling out of bed, but why?
According to the IFIC review on breakfast and health, breakfast skippers have cited the following reasons:
- Forget to eat
- Not hungry
- Not enough time/inconvenient
- Don't know what to eat
Unfortunately, some individuals may also skip breakfast in order to "save calories" for later in the day or as a general weight loss strategy. In truth, science indicates that morning meals help dieters maintain weight loss. For those who are already at a healthy weight, regular breakfasts may keep you there!
Breakfast and BMI in Kids and Teens
As of 2005, 25% of children in the US were overweight and 11% were obese. According the IFIC breakfast review, several national surveys reveal that breakfast skipping is associated with higher BMI in kids and teens. Furthermore, a recent study published in the American Journal of the Dietetic Association (2009) examined the link between children's BMI and participation in the school lunch and school breakfasts programs. Obesity in children has tripled in recent decades and children get a lot of calories from these school dining programs. The researchers were interested in seeing if participation in breakfast or lunch programs could be linked to BMI. On the contrary, the study showed that school lunch has no effect on BMI or risk of overweight or obesity. Participation in the school breakfast program was associated with a significantly lower BMI. Since the program enables children to have breakfast consistently, the researchers think that the program may promote a healthy BMI in children.
Breakfast and BMI in Adults
Does skipping breakfast help you scrimp on calories and slip into skinny jeans? I think not! As reported by the IFIC breakfast review, breakfast skippers may have a 4.5 times greater risk of obesity than those who regularly enjoy the morning meal. A study conducted by Purslow et al. reports that people who eat the highest percentage of total daily calories at the breakfast
have significantly lower BMI values. Finally, data collected from the National Weight Control Registry show that 90% of people who sucessfully meaintained a 30 pound weight loss for at least one year ate breakfast at least 4 times per week.
On a Diet? A High-Protein Breakfast May Help You Stick to It!
Dr. Leidy and her colleagues at the