Benefits of Breakfast

  • Kids enjoying morning breakfast with a glass of juice

1. Breakfast can improve nutrient intakes

  • It is universally recognized that regular consumption of a healthy breakfast plays an important role in attaining optimal nutritional profile by promoting a healthier intake of macro and micronutrients. Breakfast cereals can give a head start to our body’s daily vitamin and mineral needs and overall nutrient intake.1
  • Recent studies have reported reduced intakes of many nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin D, folate, zinc and dietary fibre in children and adolescents who skip breakfast.2, 3
  • Among adults too there are definite dietary advantages of consuming breakfasts that include grains, cereals, low fat milk and whole fruits. Breakfast consumers had higher daily intakes of shortfall nutrients such as dietary fibre, vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, potassium, folate, iron and magnesium. They also scored higher on the Health Eating Index scores than the breakfast skippers.4

2. Breakfast-eaters tend to have healthier body weights

  • Several cross-sectional studies across the world have reported that children, adolescents and adults who skip breakfast have greater body weights, higher BMI and waist circumference, excess adiposity, and a greater prevalence of obesity.4,10,11,12
  • Although strong evidence for a causal role of breakfast skipping in obesity is currently lacking, regular breakfast eaters do have a better dietary quality. This along with the improved post-prandial glucose response, insulin sensitivity and satiety experienced after the consumption of a fibre-rich breakfast would explain the healthier body weight seen among the breakfast-eaters.10

3. Breakfast carries many other benefits.5, 6, 7, 8, 9

  • According to the results from The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES): 1999-2006 consumption of breakfast, especially one that included an RTEC, was associated with an improved cardiometabolic risk profile in U.S. young adults.13
  • According to a recent study, regular breakfast consumption was associated with higher cardiorespiratory fitness in adolescents, and with a healthier cardiorespiratory fitness in adolescents and with a healthier cardiovascular profile especially one in males. Also it may probably help to negate the effect of excess adiposity on TC and LDL-C, especially in male adolescents.14
  • Consumption of breakfast cereals in general and those which are sources of soluble fibre is linked better cardiovascular lipid profiles (especially lower TC and LDL-C).15

4. Breakfast consumption promotes physical and mental well-being

  • Children and adolescents who consume breakfast daily were found to be more physically active and therefore having less screen time. They also had less likelihood of adverse behaviors such as cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking.8, 16
  • Eating breakfast together as a family has shown to confer several health benefits for the adolescents in terms of their dietary intake and weight status.17

Hence, taking as little as five minutes to relax and prepare for the day with a bowl of cereal, milk and fruit really ensures a positive start.

1 Williams P.G. (2014) The Benefits of Breakfast Cereal Consumption: A Systematic Review of the Evidence Base. Adv Nutr. Sep;5(5): 636S-673S.

2 Barr S.I. etal (2014) Breakfast consumption is positively associated with nutrient adequacy in Canadian children and adolescents. Br J Nutr. 2014 Oct28;112(8): 1373-1383.

3 Moore F.F. etal (2016) Impact of Breakfast Skipping and Breakfast Choice on the Nutrient Intake and Body Mass Index of Australian Children. Nutrients. Aug;8 (8):487.

4 O’Neal C.E. etal (2014) Nutrient intake, diet quality, and weight/adiposity parameters in breakfast patterns compared with no breakfast in adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2001-2008. J Acad Nutr Diet. Dec;114(12 Suppl):S27-43

5 Odegaard etal A.O. (2013) Breakfast Frequency and Development of Metabolic Risk. Diabetes Care. Oct; 36(10):3100-3106.

6 Uemura M. etal (2015) Breakfast Skipping is Positively Associated with Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Evidence from the Aichi Workers’ Cohort Study. J Epidemiol. 25(5):351-358.

7 Shafiee al (2013) Association of breakfast intake with cardiometabolic risk factors. Jornal de Pediatria, Volume 89, Issue 6, November-December Pages 575-582

8 Kubota Y.etal (2016) Association of Breakfast Intake with Incident Stroke and Coronary Heart Disease- The Japan Public Health Center-Based Study. Stroke, 47:477-481.

9 Maki K. C. etal (2016) The Effects of Breakfast Consumption and Composition on Metabolic Wellness with a Focus on Carbohydrate Metabolism. Adv Nutr. May; 7(3):613S-621S

10 Tee E.S. etal (2018) Breakfast consumption among Malaysian primary and secondary school children and relationship with body weight status – Findings from the MyBreakfastStudy. Asia Pac K Clin Nutr. 27(2):421-432.

11 Blondin SA (2016) Breakfast consumption and adiposity among children and adolescents: an updated review of the literature. Pediatr Obes. Oct;11(5):333-48.

12 Sakurai M (2017) Skipping breakfast and 5-year changes in body mass index and waist circumference in Japanese men and women. Obes Sci Pract. Jun;3(2):162-170.

13 Deshmukh-Tasker: et al. The relationship of breakfast skipping and type of breakfast consumed with overweight/obesity, abdominal obesity, other cardiometabolic risk factors and the metabolic syndrome in young adults. The national Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES): 1999-2006. Public Health Nutr. 2013;16(11):2073-82.

14 Hallstrom, L et al. Breakfast consumption and CVD risk factors in European adolescents: The HELENA (Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence) Study. Public Health Nutrition, ISSN1368-9800, E-ISSN 1475-2727, Vol. 16, no7, p.1296-1305.

15 Williams PG. The Benefits of Breakfast Cereal Consumption: A Systematic Review of the Evidence Base. Adv. Nutri. 2014;5:6365-6735.

16 Wang M. etal (2016) Breakfast Consumption and Its Associations with Health-Related Behaviors among School-Aged Adolescents: A Cross-Sectional Study in Zhejiang Province, China. Int J Environ Res Public Health. Aug;13(8):761.

17 Larson N, et al. Eating breakfast and dinner together as a family: associations with sociodemographic and implications for diet quality and weight status. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013;113(12):1601-9.

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