The Importance of Taking The Time to Eat A Healthy Breakfast

Sri Pulavarthi, Staff Writer

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Many students do not eat breakfast in the morning. There are numerous side effects to this decision, including a drop in blood sugar levels. If one does not eat in the morning, glycogen, a form of glucose that stores energy, cannot restore quickly, and insulin levels will not be stabilized. That person will end up feeling even more hungry, irritable, and fatigued. The metabolism will also slow down. When one does not eat food for long periods of time, especially skipping breakfast, the body will try to store as many calories as possible in case of a period of starvation. Hence, the body turns the glucose in the muscles into fuel, wasting them away.

Skipping breakfast can also increase stress hormone levels. Cortisol, the main stress hormone, is usually highest around 7am. So if one were to skip breakfast, their cortisol levels do not get lower and leave the person feeling anxious or jittery. A freshman said, “[she doesn’t] usually eat breakfast because [she] can’t eat when [she’s] tired.”

While this true in some cases, Dr. Sira Mitha, a pediatrician, claims that “most of [her] patients who don’t eat breakfast end up feeling more stressed in high school.”

Skipping breakfast not only has short term effects, but also long term ones. Regularly skipping morning meals carries the risks of weight gain, atherosclerosis (hardened arteries), heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol.

A study, by the Journal of the American Medical Association, taken over the period of sixteen years between males who skipped breakfast and those who didn’t, found that there was a twenty seven percent greater chance of getting heart attacks or coronary heart disease without eating breakfast than those who ate breakfast.

Studies also show that skipping breakfast can negatively impact one’s mood and energy. In a study conducted on healthy people, one group was given a healthy breakfast, another was given coffee, and the last was not given any food. After close monitoring for a couple hours, the group not given any breakfast showed the poorest memory skills and highest fatigue levels. If they do not eat breakfast, many students will eventually feel the toll of not eating and their health and academics could suffer from it.

While some may say they do not have time in their busy morning to eat and others may not feel hungry enough for breakfast, ultimately, the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast outweigh the potentially negative health impacts.

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