The Importance of Breakfast
Breakfast literally means ‘breaking the fast’ after sleeping at night time. Most people do not eat for up to 12 hours between the time of their evening meal and breakfast on the following day – during this time their energy levels fall. The first meal of the day is the most important because it supplies the body and brain with the necessary nutrients after a night’s sleep.
Click here to download the brochure The benefits of breakfast and breakfast cereals.
Benefits of Breakfast
Eating breakfast is beneficial for both the body and the mind in several ways:
- People who eat breakfast consume more essential nutrients which are necessary for a healthy body and lifestyle (6, 10, 11, 32)
- People who eat breakfast tend to be slimmer than those who skip breakfast (7, 9, 11, 17, 19, 22, 23, 26)
- Eating breakfast contributes to cognitive performance - it improves concentration and fuels phsyical activity (3, 24, 33)
- Breakfast provides many nutritional and health benefits for children (34, 35, 38)
What you choose to eat at breakfast can affect your mood, physical and mental performance, weight, and your general and long-term health. » Read more
The impact of skipping breakfast
Skipping breakfast means:
Less essential nutrients
Research shows that essential nutrients missed at breakfast are not compensated for during the other meals of the day (6, 10, 11, 32).
Less control over appetite
Breakfast helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, which regulates appetite and energy. People who eat breakfast are less likely to be hungry and overeat during the rest of the day (9, 10).
Higher Body Mass Index
Breakfast consumption is associated with a lower incidence of people being overweight and obese. Over 53% of the EU population is either overweight or obese (18). Data from the US has shown that children and adults who eat breakfast have healthier weights than children who skip breakfast (10, 15, 42). This is supported by similar findings in Europe: a French study showed that obese and overweight children eat less at breakfast and more at dinner than their lean counterparts (2). In a Finnish study of 16 year olds and their parents, breakfast skipping among adolescents and adults, was associated with having a high Body Mass Index (BMI) (20). Overall, breakfast cereal consumers also tend to be slimmer and have a lower BMI than non-consumers (4, 7, 11, 17, 22, 23, 26, 39).
Reduced cognitive abilities
Skipping breakfast is particularly worrying among children, as breakfast helps to improve concentration at school. Research shows that children who skip breakfast are not as efficient in the selection of critical information in problem-solving as those who eat breakfast. (29, 31) Eating breakfast helps children to perform better in school, in both mathematical and creative tasks. (21, 43) » Read more