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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The forgotten meal

The+forgotten+meal

By Jonathan Wahl/reporter

TCC staff discuss importance of breakfast for students

TCC staff discuss importance of breakfast for students. Click to download PDF
TCC staff discuss importance of breakfast for students.
Click to download PDF

In 2011, the NPD research group studying the breakfast habits of Americans found that over 31 million people do not eat breakfast on a regular basis.

With about 320 million people in the U.S., this means about 10 percent of the population will regularly walk out the door and not eat what many consider to be the most important meal of the day.

People skip breakfast for various reasons. Like other students, NE student Andy Dean gave explanations about running late, not being hungry and sleeping in too late to have time to eat.

“A good portion of the time, it just comes down to forgetting to eat breakfast or not being prepared,” he said.

NPD reported the top three reasons for skipping breakfast as not being hungry or thirsty, running late or being too busy. But that can have consequences.

Bobby Applewhite, NW health and physical education adjunct instructor, said the importance of breakfast is to kick-start the metabolism.

“Breakfast is breaking your fast from the night,” he said.

Carolyn Bass, TR nursing associate professor, concurs.

“The importance of a good breakfast is to initiate your metabolism and provide energy for your day,” she said.

Skipping breakfast can have a number of consequences including fatigue, low blood sugar, trouble concentrating or lack of focus.

“If the required nutrients are insufficient, the individual tends to experience a drop in the needed glucose level for the body,” TR nursing professor Irma Aguilar-Coker said.

Pat Marling, NE health services coordinator, agrees with many educators and researchers that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that what one eats for that first meal of the day is important.

“An optimal breakfast includes something with protein and a whole-grain carbohydrate,” she said.

Breakfast options considered healthy could include fruit, whole-grain toast, oats, protein (lean meats), fiber-rich cereal, eggs or nuts.

“Low-glycemic index foods are preferred to high-glycemic index foods,” Bass said. “Low-glycemic index foods make you feel full and provide consistent blood glucose.”

More information about what foods are best according to the index can be found at www.glycemicindex.com.

Although the NPD research broke the issue down by age from pre-teen through elder years, it found this was a universal issue across age groups and that a good portion of all age groups are missing what could well be the most important meal of the day.

“It really comes down to making it a priority and taking time to eat breakfast,” Dean said.

While breakfast may be the meal easiest to skip, it is the one to leave people the most lacking.

Recently, Forbes magazine published a study done by Harvard University looking at people’s breakfast habits. It revealed that men who skipped breakfast were 27 percent more likely to experience a heart attack or die from heart disease. The study also pointed out that metabolism isn’t static and what the body is fed truly matters.

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