A new study finds that skipping breakfast can adversely affect your physical and mental health. A study investigated the impact of breakfast on your physical and mental health among adults and teens. The findings of the study were convincing that not consuming a healthy meal at the start of your day can result in poor mental and physical health.
Importance of Breakfast
Ever since nutrition has been one of our favorite topics to debate on. Which food to eat, what to eat and when to eat, all these questions are undeniably important. In this regard, the importance of breakfast remained there. Undoubtedly, this is the most important meal of your day. The reason is that your body needs nutrients to work after staying deprived of food for hours. This is especially important in the case of children and young adults.
As a parent, this can be challenging for you especially when you are dealing with picky eaters. I remember when we were kids, my mother never let us step out of the house without having a meal. My brother has always remained a picky eater and even my mother took her to the Top general physician in Lahore for treatment. Initially, I did it reluctantly but over years this turned into a habit. Now after many years, I am the one who can barely function without having my breakfast.
Impact of Skipping Breakfast – What does Research Say?
However, many people, as adults or children, tend to skip their breakfast without realizing its impact on their overall health. Previously there have been many studies that investigated the role of having breakfast on your overall health.
Having your breakfast regularly is even related to better school performance in children, enhanced memory, healthy body weight and improved focus in the classroom. Despite all these benefits skipping breakfast is more of a habit. We have convincing stats that show that almost 20% of the children population skip their breakfast. This includes children from all socio-economic backgrounds.
Recently a Spanish study studied the impact of skipping breakfast on your physical and mental health. The study was published in Frontiers in Nutrition. Dr José Francisco López-Gil led the study and is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Castilla-La Mancha.
“The association between skipping breakfast and psychosocial health problems has been previously described in the literature in some scientific articles. However, the fact that eating breakfast away from home is associated with greater psychosocial health problems is a novel aspect of our study.” told the lead researcher.
The impact of skipping breakfast on psychological health was studied in 3772 children and teens. The study was conducted Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). A total 5 parameters were studied in the study including:
- Behaviour issues
- Emotional problems
- Peer problems
- Extent of hyperactivity
- Prosocial behaviour
They also divided study participants into three groups based on their breakfast choices. The three categories were the kids who eat breakfast at home, have their breakfast outside home or do not have breakfast at all. According to the results of the study, it was found that the people who skip their breakfast have the highest SDQ scores and are more likely to develop psychosocial problems.
“The probability of having psychosocial health problems was higher for breakfast status (i.e., breakfast or skipping breakfast), followed by breakfast place (i.e. at home or away from home), than for the type of food for breakfast,” said Dr López-Gil while talking about the results of the investigation.
Breakfast Food Choices and Having Breakfast at Home
The study also evaluated the food choices by dividing foods into 5 different groups that include:
- Coffee, tea, milk, yoghurt, etc.
- Bread, cookies, toast, etc.
- Juice, fruit, or both
- Cheese, eggs, etc.
- Other foods
The results of the study revealed that skipping dairy or cereals also adversely impacts the psychosocial health of teens and kids. Further, the lead scientist of the research suggested that people who are not having their breakfast at home are more likely to make unhealthy food choices that can cause more harm than good.
So, having breakfast alone is not enough but having breakfast at home and making the right food choices such as cereals, and eggs are also important. Also, having your breakfast at home can improve your emotional health by improving your bonds with your homies.
Having breakfast is important for your overall health. However, the new study reveals that having breakfast at home and choosing good foods is beneficial for you. So, as parents, you need to take care of children’s dietary choices so they can perform better at school. Try to provide them with a balanced meal.
For example, if you are adding eggs to their breakfast then make sure to add enough sugar that can provide them with good energy. Also, don’t forget to add fibre to their diet. So, yes a healthy breakfast can make your child perform better at school and minimize the chances of psychosocial problems in children.