Is missing breakfast really bad?

Apologies if this has already been asked, but I couldn’t find anything when I searched the archives.

I often hear the saying, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and was just wondering how true this is.

I’m sure we’ve all read various snippets from doctors about its importance, but is skipping breakfast really bad for you? I mean, is it simply a good thing to give you an energy kick for the morning, or is there something more fundamental at stake? Does it, say, set up your metabolic rate for the day or something like that?

Can any medical-type people fill me in?


And which is worse- skipping breakfast, or eating half a bag of potato chips with french onion dip for breakfast?

its a conspiracy by cereal manufacturers

Just one word to desribe the marketing-inspired HORROR that has created the phenomenon of “breakfast foods.”


School Breakfast Scorecard shows some pertinent bullet points.

This Harvard Study on Breakfast shows some pretty good correlations between breakfast and better performance.

And then there is Breakfast: The Vanishing Meal, which makes some very persuasive arguments for eating it every day.

Google. Live it. Love it. It’s what ya wanna…


If breakfast is pancakes swimming in butter & syrup with four strips of bacon or sausage, most of us would probably be better off skipping it. Even a pre-fab breakfast like a danish is mainly just a sugar shot to the bloodstream.

I suspect the answer is “it really depends on the person”, and some people might actually need that sugar shot. I eat if I am hungry. I am almost never hungry in the morning so I skip breakfast.

Yeah, I figure they plan to take over the world when the population has choked to death on small plastic “Monsters Inc.” toys. :smiley:

Thanks, Cartooniverse (and everyone), I’ll check those links!

I never eat breakfast anymore. Okay, extremely rarely. I don’t miss it. When I did eat breakfast it was back in the day when a bowl of sugar coated oatey-0s was considered “part of your nutritious breakfast” (in addition to toast with butter, 3 strips of bacon, pancakes, juice, milk and half a grapefruit).

I may be wrong, but look at what the experts say, and how often they change their minds. Also note, for kids I would say breakfast is important. I’m just not hungry when I wake up. Net, if you’re hungry eat something healthy, but don’t eat for eating’s sake.

This is an ENTIRELY opion based answer. So I hope no one is upset at me for using speculation in GQ. But as a person who struggles with weight issues and eating disorders, I’ve learned that eating a regularly “prescribed” times, which are set by anyone from your parents to your co-workers is NOT a good idea for a “dieter.” And by dieter, I don’t mean someone who is conscious of what they put into their body and is being careful of what they eat for health and weight management purposes.

Eating when you’re not hungry is, in my opinion, a terrible idea. I’m generally not hungry until 10:00. Therefore, I eat my “breakfast” then. If you eat small, healthy meals you’ll be hungry every 2-3 hours all day. But when the pizza arrives at exactly 12:05 for your lunchtime business meeting, if you’re not truly hungry, I say skip it.

Ditto for breakfast. Your body will tell you when it’s time to eat.


After I posted, I realized that my “eat when you’re hungry only” bit certainly does’t apply to school children, who likely don’t get a break for a snack when they need one. So sure…they need something to hold them over until lunch.

Ack. My first post was supposed to read “by dieter, I MEAN someone who is conscious…” Not I DON’T mean. I’m having a rough morning.

Obviously you shouldn’t post before you eat a good breakfast.

I think most of this has to do with school-age children. Generally, AFAIK, kids get a recess break around 10 or 10:30, and then lunch at 12, and nothing else until after school. Many kids where I came from would have to get up really early to catch a bus to school, and by early I mean ON the bus at 7am or earlier to be there for 9am. It’s just unreasonable to expect a child that isn’t hungry at 6 or 6:30am to be able to last until recess time to eat their first food of the day. This is where the “most important meal” idea comes from, IMHO. A hungry child cannot concentrate as well as one who isn’t hungry, and this DOES reflect in the childs work (IANATeacher, but my mother has been for 25+ years and I have spent a lot of time talking with her and helping her out over the years). Many schools now have a free breakfast program, or something for a dollar a day, in order to be sure that hungry children are fed in the morning. Originally, this was only for underprividleged children, or those coming from households where noone made efforts to feed them in the morning, but increasingly, at least at my mom’s school, the program is being expanded to serve ANY hungry child, because even if they had a bowl of cereal at 6am, odds are they are hungry at 10.

Of course, the quality of the food is equally important, and I would think would have a HUGE bearing on how important the meal actually is, but in some cases, children in particular, getting ANY food into them is more important than letting them starve. And as I said, it DOES reflect in their grades, hence the added push for the “importance” of breakfast foods aimed at children.

I look at it this way–10-15 more minutes of sleep does me more good than any food. On days when I have class, I rarely eat anything before. Maybe I’ll down an instant breakfast or a frappucino.

Hmmm…I am an advocate for breaking the “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” myth.

When declaring breakfast’s status, one must look at several thing:

  1. What is breakfast?

  2. For whom are we planning this meal?

  3. What time does this “breakfast” get consumed?

  4. Breakfast is the first meal of the day for a traditional worker who rises somewhat with the sun and eats shortly there-after

2.Typical worker is hard to define. Farmer? Hard Laborer? Or me, a guy who sits on his ass in front of paper and PCs all day?

  1. Breakfast is the morning meal, eaten before a mid-day break.

Typically, an office worker can get by with little or no breakfast, but it might be best to recommend a light nutritionally dense meal as part of his/her overall daily caloric intake. Modest vitamins, using the food pyramid as a guide. Grains, fruits and juice.

A hard laborer outside all day, on a pace to burn 3000-5000 calories in the field or in a ditch might want a heavier farmer inspired breakfast that is higher in calories and nutrition.