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 percent of children in the US were overweight and 11 percent were obese. According to the IFIC breakfast review, several national surveys reveal that breakfast skipping is associated with higher BMI in kids and teens. Furthermore, a study published in the American Journal of the Dietetic Association examined the link between childrens’ BMI and participation in the school lunch and school breakfast 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 skimp 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 breakfast
have significantly lower BMI values. Finally, data collected from the National Weight Control Registry show that 90 percent of people who successfully maintained a 30-pound weight loss for at least one year ate breakfast at least four times per week.
On a Diet? A High-Protein Breakfast May Help You Stick to It!
Dr. Leidy and her colleagues at the The University of Kansas Medical Center investigated whether extra protein added to the lunch, breakfast or dinner of men on a calorie restricted diet would lead to greater feelings of fullness three hours after the meals and throughout the day. They reported that men on a diet felt fuller when extra protein was added to the breakfast meal. The results of this study suggest that eating a high-protein breakfast may help you follow your weight loss plan.
Make Breakfast Work for You
Are you busy or unsure of what to make? Try these tasty and simple breakfast options!
Whey to Go
Small blender appliances with a portable cup make to-go morning shakes as easy as scoop, blend and drink on the go! Combine in an individual blender:
1 scoop of vanilla whey protein
1 cup of milk
1 small banana
1 Tbsp of peanut butter
2 packets of artificial sweetener (optional)
Nutrition: About 400 Calories and 32 grams of protein
Good Morning Oats
If you want a healthy whole-grain breakfast in a flash, combine the ingredients in a bowl the night before. In the morning, simply heat and eat!
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup 1% or non-fat milk
1/2 cup of blueberries or raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 packets artificial sweetener (optional)
Nutrition: About 410 Calories and 14 grams of protein
Berries and Yogurt
Not sure when you’ll be able to eat your breakfast creation? The use of frozen berries keeps this meal cool and safe for hours.
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt*
2 packets artificial sweetener (optional)
Nutrition: About 200 Calories and 12 grams of protein
*For a higher protein option, replace the yogurt with low-fat cottage cheese (240 Calorie and 31 grams of protein)
Whole Grain English Muffin and Lox
Get whole grains, protein and omega-3 fats in one swoop with this easy take-along option!
1 whole wheat english muffin, toasted
2 Tbsp low-fat plain or veggie cream cheese
2 oz Lox (smoked salmon)
Nutrition: About 290 Calories and 17 grams of protein