Skipping Breakfast May Encourage Other Unhealthy Habits

Giving breakfast a pass in the morning may make you more likely to consume sugary drinks and high-calorie junk food later in the day, a panel of experts told attendees at the Institute of Food Technologists’ (IFT) 2012 Annual Meeting and Food Expo.

Young people in particular who skip breakfast consume 40 percent more sweets, 55 percent more soft drinks, 45 percent fewer vegetables, and 30 percent less fruit than breakfast eaters, the panelists noted. That’s especially bad considering that breakfast is important for maintaining good blood sugar and staving off diabetes, studies say.

Start eating breakfast and most of the “negative factors were abbreviated … compared with breakfast-skippers,” says Heather Leidy, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri. “[Eating breakfast] could lead to a reduction in obesity,” she notes.

Overall, breakfast provides about 17 percent of your daily calories and nearly half of several key nutrients, experts say. Breakfast typically provides 58 percent of your daily vitamin D, 42 percent of vitamin B12, and 41 percent of vitamin A, research shows.