For decades, we’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
But Aaron E. Carroll, professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, said people who skip breakfast should not be shamed!
Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?
As he wrote in the New York Times, ‘breakfast has no mystical powers.’
So, what about the studies that say skipping breakfast can lead to poor health, including childhood obesity?
Carroll said those studies are flawed and biased — sometimes funded by the food industry.
‘The bottom line is that the evidence for the importance of breakfast is something of a mess,’ Carroll wrote. ‘If you’re hungry, eat it. But don’t feel bad if you’d rather skip it, and don’t listen to those who lecture you.’
Eating breakfast is a personal choice
By now, you might be wanting a second opinion.
Dr. Jennifer Ashton with ABC News agreed with Carroll that breakfast is not a one-size-fits-all meal.
She said some of these studies we’ve heard in the news are based on association, not cause and effect. In other words, two totally different measures in a scientific study.
“This concept that your body needs to eat as soon as you’re vertical because it’s in a fast, that is a complete myth,” Ashton told ABC News.
Ashton said it’s an individual choice, and she personally chooses to eat breakfast.
Read more: Is this the best fast food deal right now?
Are you one of the 31 million?
About 10% of Americans are already making the choice to skip breakfast, according to a 2011 study from The NPD Group, a marketing research company.
Of the 31 million Americans who don’t eat a morning meal, men and women from ages 18 to 34 were most likely to pass on breakfast.
Many of them said they just weren’t hungry or didn’t have time.
The business of breakfast
Because there are so many people who don’t bother with breakfast, retailers are aggressively reaching out to those consumers.
A great example is the fast food industry.
McDonald’s posted a 6% gain in same-store sales last quarter — its best performance in four years — according to Bloomberg.
The chain’s aggressive promotion of all-day breakfast is getting a lot of the credit.
Here’s a cheap option
If you’re not eating breakfast regularly because of the price, maybe you’re eating the wrong items.
Skip the eggs and bacon and go for something like oatmeal.
According to a recent cost analysis, you can make oatmeal at home for just 16 cents a day. And we discovered some ways to mix it up, so it doesn’t get boring day after day.
In addition to being good for your wallet, it’s also good for your health.