Does breakfast really matter?

Nichelle Trulove -- Devron Suttle, Leonard Jarman, Jr. and Jessie Kay jumpstart their day by eating breakfast.

In a time-constrained society, eating breakfast has become a conditional habit but just how much time are students willing to go without eating?

For some students, going half of the day without food is normal, but eating breakfast is a priority for others.

“If you don’t get a chance to eat until noon, all you will be thinking about is what you’re going to eat for lunch. Thus, you aren’t focused on what your professor is going over in class,” Deshonee Horton, junior, said.

As the time increases without food ingestion, not only does the metabolism slow down but performance is weakened.

While breakfast is considered “the most important meal of the day,” having a balanced diet and eating when you are supposed to is crucial.

“I always suggest to my students that eating breakfast is important for the purpose of maintaining a consistent metabolism,” David Pearson, professor of kinesiology, said. “While the amount of time needed for your body to go into ‘starvation mode’ (where it slows metabolism to conserve energy) is debatable, I feel the time between dinner on Sunday and lunch on Monday is too long to go without food.”

Eating breakfast offers a variety of benefits like regulating sugar blood levels and maintaining a steady metabolism. Moreover, the benefits include a more balanced diet filled with nutrients the brain needs and a more productive and efficient day.

According to The Breakfast Panel, a group of doctors, dieticians and researchers, “Research shows that eating first thing in the morning helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, which control appetite and energy.”

“A review of the research on eating supports the notion that eating more smaller meals throughout the day rather than fewer large meals is a healthy way to live,” Pearson said. “Consistent delivery of nutrients and stable blood sugar are two of many benefits. So rather than comparing the importance of breakfast to dinner, students are better off thinking of their daily food intake as a process that lasts as long as they are awake.”

Instead of rushing to class without food, consider arranging a time to go to the cafeteria or wake up early to make breakfast. This will help you be in less of a hurry and able to sit calmly and focus on the lecture. Creating healthy habits result in a more productive day and better concentration in class.

“While research is not conclusive and more studies are needed, more often than not, researchers find that eating breakfast is correlated with better performance,” Pearson said. “It is also correlated with better school attendance, which may explain the increased performance, or it may be something more than that.”

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