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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Myth Buster: You must eat a breakfast to feel good

I remember back in the 1970s watching these videos in class called Mulligan Stew, where the gang would inculcate into our little heads the importance of breakfast. Mulligan would meet kids who were "grouchy and don't eat right."  The gang would say things like "if you don't eat breakfast you get headaches and get grumpy during the day."

Mulligan Stew was a show that was boring and no one wanted to watch.  It was so unpopular, in fact, that it was cancelled after only six episodes were aired in 1977. But educators liked it so much that they forced us kids to watch it ad nauseum, forcing the theme "4-4-3-2" on us: four servings of bread and cereal, four servings of fruits and vegetables, three servings of milk, and 2 servings of meat."  You could get started on this early by eating a good breakfast.

New evidence, however, suggests that this is not true.  In fact, modern researchers suggest there was never any evidence to show that breakfast was essential to begin with, that it just sounded like it must be true.

New evidence suggests that you do not need breakfast to start your metabolism after all, and therefore breakfast is not needed to lose weight. They also proved that breakfast is not needed to keep you from getting headaches and grumpy, as Mulligan proclaimed.

The August issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported on various studies that proved that breakfast is not essential.  The studies showed that people who were not morning people could skip breakfast and burn just as many calories as those who ate breakfast.

The studies showed that those who did not eat breakfast had just as much energy as those who did not, lost an equal amount of weight, and did not necessarily become so hungry that they ate too much at lunchtime.  Those are all things we were told would happen if we did not eat breakfast.

New evidence suggests that if you want to skip breakfast you can do so without harm to your health or well-being.  Besides, skipping breakfast will allow you to put fewer calories into your body, thus allowing you another opportunity to keep your weekly calorie intake less than your calorie output.

New evidence suggests that if you like breakfast, great!  But, if you are one of those folks who prefers to skip breakfast, that's fine too.  Still, as with most myths, the idea that breakfast is essential to good health and well-being will probably continue to be inculcated into our heads because it sounds good.

To read about more myths busted at the RT Cave click here.

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