Recent study on more than 100 children in elementary schools and earlier studies on teenagers and adolescents shows that people who skip breakfast are less efficient than those who don't. Doctors in the Massachusetts General Hospital assessed the effects of eating school breakfast, on the academic and emotional functioning of more than 100 children. Researchers found that children who ate school breakfast, in addition to improving their psychological dimensions also improved their maths grades, attendance and punctuality. They found that children who ate breakfast regularly think faster and clearer and are less likely to be fidgety and irritable in the early part of the day and were also less likely to be described as anxious, depressed or hyperactive by parents & teachers. Studies also indicate that children who skip breakfast are not as adept at handling information and also have lower verbal fluency and attentiveness. Over all, skipping breakfast decreased productivity, efficiency and resulted in impaired memory and mental performance together with 40 per cent lower intake of calcium and Vitamin C.
Researchers say that it is a very simple fact that it is hard to concentrate on mental challenges and to maintain a pleasant, patient demeanor when a hungry stomach signals a fall in blood glucose levels following an overnight fast or the consumption of only a sweet food or coffee or both. The brain is forced to depend on stored fat for functioning when glucose supply runs low as a result of skipping breakfast. Many people who skip breakfast to reduce calories do not understand that calories consumed early in the day are least likely to put on pounds, and skipping any meal simply increases the temptation to eat a high calorie snack or overeat at the next meal.
In this decade where there is a steady decline in the number of people who eat breakfast, some manage to grab a sweet roll or a fast food sandwich and coffee. However, these do not make up an adequate breakfast as they only help suppress hunger pangs temporarily, but do very little to aid brain function. So what makes up a healthy breakfast? One that supplies a quarter to one third of the day's protein plus fiber rich complex carbohydrates and a small amount of fat. A whole grain cereal with fruit and low fat or skim milk or low fat or non fat yogurt fruit and skim milk plus whole wheat toast or cheese are simple but healthy homemade breakfasts.
That's news enough to wake up 15 minutes earlier everyday to make time for a nutritious breakfast and a more productive day!