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In The News: 31 Million Americans Skip Breakfast Each Morning

10/12/2011 11:48:31 AM

Tags: Health Benefits, Breakfast, Tips, Justine Patton, Eating Habits, In The News

J.PattonDespite the old saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” researchers recently discovered 31 million Americans, roughly 10 percent of the population, skip their morning meals each day.

The statistics showed the younger the person, the more likely they were to skip breakfast, with 18- to 34-year-olds being the offenders most often. Males were more likely to skip breakfast when compared to females in all age groups.

People make all sorts of excuses for opting out of breakfast, but whatever the reason, it’s a mistake.

This little guy is starting his morning off right.
Photo by jemsweb/Courtesy

Excuse #1: I’m trying to lose weight. It’s logical thinking that if you skip calories in the morning, you’ll consume less calories overall during the day. However, research has shown this just isn’t the case. Skipping breakfast leaves your body with no fuel first thing in the morning, so you may try to make up for it when lunchtime rolls around, leading to overeating and unnecessary extra calories. It turns out, research has shown that breakfast eaters are more likely to maintain a health weight. Some experts even believe eating breakfast in the morning can help raise your metabolism, which leads to losing weight, rather than gaining.

Excuse #2: I don’t feel like eating. If you skip breakfast, simply because you don’t “feel like” eating, you could be depriving yourself of vital vitamins and nutrients that are unlikely to be consumed during lunch or dinner either. That’s because many breakfast foods, such as oatmeal or eggs, are full of good nutrients and vitamins, like protein and fiber, which some dinnertime favorites do not contain.

Excuse #3: I don’t have time to eat breakfast. This was the number one reason most females don’t chow down in the mornings, the study found. There are a few easy ways to make fitting breakfast into your busy, bustling mornings a little easier:

• Figure out what you’ll eat for breakfast the night before. Then, set out any ingredients and kitchen supplies you’ll need to craft your dish so when you’re ready, they will be too.
• Try making breakfast the night before, so all you’ll have to do is pop your meal into the microwave to heat it up.
• If you don’t have time to eat breakfast at your dining room table, try packing your breakfast to-go, just like you do your lunch. Then, enjoy it on your commute to work.

Excuse #4: I don’t like traditional “breakfast foods.” If your taste buds simply aren’t into breakfast cereals and oatmeal, don’t worry. Just because you’re eating breakfast doesn’t mean you can’t venture out into other food groups. Here are some healthy alternatives:

• A whole-wheat pita stuffed with hard-boiled eggs
• Leftover vegetable pizza
• A smoothie blended with exotic fruits, some low-fat yogurt and a spoonful of wheat germ
• Whole-wheat crackers with low-fat cheese or peanut butter
• A microwaved potato topped with broccoli and grated Parmesan cheese
• A whole-wheat sandwich with lean meat and low-fat cheese, garnished with all of your favorites, such as lettuce, tomato, cucumber, or sweet peppers
• A tortilla filled with vegetables, salsa, and low-fat shredded cheese

Tomorrow morning when you roll out of bed, brush away all of the usual excuses and give breakfast a try. I guarantee you’ll feel more energized, healthy, and ready to take on your workday. 

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