( Photo: Envision/Corbis)
Finally, a study has confirmed what I’ve long known to be true in my heart: Two breakfasts are better than none. Okay, the research on the effect of breakfast on weight gain was done on schoolkids (it was published in Pediatric Obesity), but it makes sense in theory for adult humans, too.
Researchers from Yale and the University of Connecticut followed 600 middle-school students as they progressed from fifth to seventh grade, noting their weight and if they had zero breakfast, breakfast either at home or at school, or breakfast in both places. They found that weight gain among second-breakfast eaters was no different from the average gain seen among all students. Kids who didn’t eat breakfast, or ate it only sometimes, were twice as likely to be overweight or obese as double-breakfasters. It should be noted that only about one in ten kids in the study ate two breakfasts.
The study wasn’t designed to figure out why this might be true, but the researchers have some theories: namely, that people who skip breakfast (or any meal) might overeat later in the day, and that being overweight to begin with could lead a person to pass on breakfast to save calories.
Yes, school breakfasts are more like a healthy snack than a full meal, and growing tweens can pack away a terrifying amount of food, but if you’re still not eating breakfast because you think it’s a waste of calories, you are not only mistaken, but you are also missing out on one of life’s great pleasures. Which is, of course, eating multiple times before noon.