Is skipping breakfast bad for you? Back in the 1970s, there was a campaign that led with the line “go to work on an egg”, but that was just a promo for the egg marketing people, or was it? The so-called “health” and “lifestyle” magazines often splash with the idea that you must have a good breakfast as it “sets you up for the day” and helps avoid snacking during the rest of the day, controls sugar spikes, helps metabolism, all that kind of tosh.
About a year ago British tabloids got hold of a story claiming that brekkie isn’t the most important meal, it was a tiny trial and the news stories were dismantled by NHS Choices’ “Behind the headlines”. On several occasions prior to that there were news reports that regularly skipping breakfast leads to a greater risk of having a heart attack in men. And before that claims that missing breakfast when you’re a child can increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life. And, then there was the question of the big breakfast and whether skipping breakfast leads to our seeking out fatty foods later in the day. Again media stories critiqued by the NHS (follow those links).
The NHS site has some recipes for people who feel they ought to have breakfast but cannot face the traditional breakfast fare first thing in the morning. WebMD reckons breakfast is important. As does Johns Hopkins in some advice for students. Similar fodder on the Mayo Clinic site. But for every dozen breaskfast recipes mentioned on the web, every 365 breakfast bars unwrapped, there seems to be at least one citation of some study or another that suggests skipping breakfast is not bad for you, may well do you good, or perhaps not, who knows, definitely maybe!
It would be nice if there were a simple answer. And, perhaps there is: eat when you’re hungry, get plenty of fresh air and exercise, drink enough water so that you don’t feel thirsty and avoid the real nasties: tobacco smoke, drunk drivers and (when you’re really ill) quacks such as homeopaths.
CC “Full English Breakfast” photo by homard