PEOPLE WHO SKIP BREAKFAST PAY A HIGH
Breakfast skippers are
less productive and less efficient than those who eat breakfast. Skipping
breakfast impairs memory and mental performance. Children who regularly
eat breakfast think faster and clearer, solve problems more easily and are
less likely to be fidgety and irritable in the day. So the message is loud
and clear to be particular about breakfast.
It's that no time in the morning time of year again.
The kids are back in school, parents are back to work and breakfast in many
households has become a catch-as catch-can affair, if it is eaten at all.
This decade has seen a steady decline in the proportion
of people who regularly eat breakfast, long considered "the most important
meal of the day". Though you may not think so as you hit the snooze alarm
to catch a few more winks of the morning sleep, it would pay to get up 15
minutes earlier to make for a nutritious breakfast.
A sweet roll or bagel and coffee from a nearby deli is
not an adequate breakfast. Nor is a so called breakfast bar or bag of chips
munched on way to school. These may temporarily suppress hunger pangs, but they
will do little to enhance brain function and mood, not to mention nutritional
status and overall health. Given what most people call breakfast, a fast food
sandwich is actually an improvement even though it is likely to be much higher
in fat, salt and calories than, say, cereal with fruit and low fat or skim milk.
studies in recent decades have documented the value of eating breakfast to a
child's ability to learn, think quickly, pay attention and get along well with
others. In a report in the archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Dr J
Michael Murphy of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and his
co-authors assessed the effects of eating school breakfast on the academic and
emotional functioning of more than 100 children in inner-city elementary schools
in Baltimore and Philadelphia.
breakfast was made available to all children of family income, the number of
youngsters who ate it doubled, giving the researchers an opportunity to measure
the results before and after. They found that those who often ate school
breakfast, got higher grades in math, and were less likely to be described as
depressed, anxious or hyperactive by parents or teachers.
addition to improving in these psychological dimensions, those youngsters who
started eating breakfast under the universal feeding program improved their math
grades, school attendance and punctuality. Children who regularly eat breakfast
think faster and clearer, solve problems more easily and are likely to be
fidgety and irritable early in the day.
studies show that children who skip breakfast are not as adept at selecting the
information they need to solve problems. Ability to recall and use new
information, verbal fluency and attentiveness are hurt by hunger. Earlier
studies showed similar effects of skipping breakfast among teenagers and adults.
Over all, breakfast skippers were less productive and handled tasks less
efficiently than those who ate breakfast. Among both young and elderly adults,
skipping breakfast impaired memory and mental performance.
don't have to be a scientist to realize that it is hard to concentrate on mental
challenges and to maintain a pleasant, patient demeanor when your growling
stomach signals a fall in blood glucose that follows an overnight fast or the
consumption of only a sweet food or coffee or both.
brain runs on glucose, and when the supply runs low, it is forced to depend on
the stored fat, a less efficient source of fuel. Performance questions aside,
the goal of many breakfast skippers is to save on calories. However,
calories consumed early in the day are least likely to put on pounds, and
skipping any meal simply increases the temptation to eat a high calorie snack or
overeat at the next meal.
In fact, the leanest
people tend to be those who eat three or more meals a day. Studies of teenagers
have shown that those those skip breakfast have an intake of calcium and vitamin
C that is 40 percent lower than those who eat breakfast.
a proper Breakfast? Ideally, breakfast should supply one quarter to one third of
the day's protein plus fiber rich complex carbohydrates and a small amount of
fat. Simple homemade meals that fulfill these criteria include a whole grain
cereal (cold or hot) with fruit and low fat or skim milk: low fat or non fat yogurt
fruit and skim milk plus whole wheat toast or cheese.
parents should provide a good example by eating breakfast themselves.