Breakfast, like sleep, coffee, and red wine, is subject to a little bit of scientific ambiguity. After being told countless times by nutritionists and researchers alike that it's the most important meal of the day—and that establishing that habit can even aid with weight loss—we've also noted studies that reveal that skipping breakfast isn't so terrible for us after all. (The rise of intermittent fasting as an effective dieting method coincides with this.)
But now another new study conflicts that conflicting research. Researchers at Yale and the University of Connecticut monitored the weights of 600 middle school students over the course of two years, all the while tracking whether they ate breakfast at home or at school, or both, or neither. Interestingly enough, they found that the kids who ate two breakfasts experienced a weight gain no different than kids who ate one. (Remember that they're growing children, so weight gain is ideal either way.)
As for the kids who rarely ate breakfast? They were twice as likely to be overweight as those kids who ate two breakfasts.
So what does this all mean? The researchers have a few theories, including the common hypothesis that those who skip breakfast might overeat later in the day. It is worth noting that as full-grown adults, we shouldn't necessarily take this as a cue to double or food intake in the morning—after all, do you recall how many Pop-Tarts you used to inhale as a tween to no ill effect on your waistline?
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Moral of the story: Unless you've seriously found that having your first meal later in the day really works for you and your body, it's probably best to stick with a nutritious (and substantial) breakfast. Strapped for time? Check out five quick, healthy ideas here.
What are your thoughts on breakfast? What's your go-to meal to get the day started right? Tell us in the comments below.