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Do you really need to have breakfast every morning?

The Breakfast Myth

We have all heard that eating a good breakfast is important in starting off your day.   Health claims are numerous.  It can speed up your metabolism, help you be more health conscious in eating for the rest of the day, plus you’ll have more energy, can think clearer and be less likely to put on weight.

The problem with the above claims is that they are based on observational studies in which investigators watch people going through their day without control groups.   This means that getting a good night’s sleep or exercising could be influencing the results.

To find out what if any benefits breakfast imparts a study was conducted in which half the participants had to consume 700 calories before 11:00 while the other half could drink only water.  Contrary to accepted wisdom skipping breakfast had little effect.  They found that eating breakfast did not result in a boost in metabolism and did not affect fat levels or weight gain.   What they did find was that those who ate breakfast were able to burn off the excess calories during the day.

But what about a healthy breakfast being essential for developing child’s school performance?

That is a harder question to answer.   Children who miss breakfast do ot perform as well at school as those who eat it regularly, but that could be because breakfast is a marker of socioeconomic circumstance or stability at home.


I think breakfast needs to be an individual matter.   We need to be aware of what works best for our own body.   As for me I find that I function better with no breakfast.


Terry Pfau DO, HMD

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