March 08, 2004
How to celebrate? The American Dietetic Association has two words for you: Eat breakfast! The ADA is using this year’s National Nutrition Month to remind people that breakfast is the most important meal of the day .
Unfortunately, more than one-quarter of adults skip breakfast – as do one-third of adolescents. Skippers aren’t “aye, aye,” at all – in fact, those who miss breakfast often feel tired, restless and irritable in the morning. They may be fooling themselves into thinking they’re controlling calories but, in fact, eating breakfast is a mainstay of any successful diet plan. It jump-starts your metabolism: Research shows breakfast-eaters burn an extra 200 to 300 calories a day. That gives them an advantage over non-breakfast eaters when it comes to obesity. A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology found that those who skip breakfast are 4.5 times more likely to be obese than those who ricochet past the first repast.
Higher metabolism isn’t the only benefit of a morning meal. Research shows that eating breakfast may boost brain power for better memory .
Another reason we’re big on petit dejeuner is that keeping a regular date with the morning plate may help prevent tooth decay among young children, according to the American Dental Association.
Grownups need that first meal of the day as well to make sure their tissues are able to absorb the glucose in the blood stream that enables them to function. A study at Northwestern University also showed that adults who ate breakfast were 37% to 55% less likely to develop insulin resistance syndrome (often the precursor to diabetes) and less likely to become obese.
Breakfast is a great way to set a healthy, calorie-conscious tone for the rest of the day. Here are two of our favorite breakfast recipes: Pineapple Berry Smoothie and Egg White Omelet .
Feed your mind as well as your body by taking the ADA’s National Nutrition Month Quiz. Are you a nutrition numbskull or a wellness wizard? Find out by clicking here.