Friday’s post featured a French paediatrician and nutritionist who said that children should not be forced to eat breakfast.

If you, like me, do not eat or like breakfast, read on!

In August 2014, The New York Times looked at two studies on breakfast’s effect on the body. More research needs to be done, but these showed that skipping breakfast has little to no adverse effect.

The smaller study of 33 participants took place in England at the University of Bath under the leadership of Dr James A Betts. The Bath Breakfast Project examined resting metabolism, cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels. The NYT article tells us (emphases mine):

After six weeks, their body weights, resting metabolic rates, cholesterol and most measures of blood sugar were about the same as they had been at the start, whether people ate breakfast or not. The one difference was that the breakfast eaters seemed to move around more during the morning

Also:

Contrary to popular belief, skipping breakfast had not driven volunteers to wolf down enormous lunches and dinners …

Dr Emily Dhurandhar led the larger study of 300 volunteers done at the the University of Alabama at Birmingham in which other institutions also participated. Those who normally skipped breakfast were told to eat a morning meal and those who normally ate one were told to stop for the duration of the study. The objective was to see if any participants lost weight as a result:

Sixteen weeks later, the volunteers returned to the lab to be weighed. No one had lost much, only a pound or so per person, with weight in all groups unaffected by whether someone ate breakfast or skipped it.

Dhurandar concluded:

breakfast may be just another meal.

She added:

I guess I won’t nag my husband to eat breakfast any more.

Betts, on the other hand, is not much of a breakfast eater:

I almost never have breakfast,” Dr. Betts said. “That was part of my motivation for conducting this research, as everybody was always telling me off and saying I should know better.” Based on the results of these studies, he said his habits won’t change.

The comments following the article were helpful. One mother said that she lets her children eat as much or as little as they want for breakfast. One child has a glass of orange juice, another a bowl of cereal and toast. She says that, regardless of whether or what they eat in the morning, they are all of normal weight and healthy.

Some readers had bad experiences with breakfast as children and were sick to their stomachs. One man said his father stopped forcing breakfast on him after a particularly bad episode of post-brekkie illness one morning.

In closing, not everyone, including children, is a breakfast eater. The best solution for youngsters, as the French paediatrician said, is to make sure they have a small snack to eat late in the morning when necessary.

More on breakfast and intermittent fasting tomorrow.

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