To breakfast, or not to breakfast?

Historically, breakfast has not always been a part of our daily routine; however, dietary recommendations nowadays emphasise waking up to what is often described as “the most important meal of the day”. Despite this, there is rising popularity for a form of intermittent fasting that involves skipping breakfast, with proponents reporting weight loss and improvement in metabolic biomarkers. Does this mean we’ve been wrong about the importance of breakfast all along? Skipping breakfast may defy the body’s natural rhythms Breakfast has not always been a universally-consumed meal. The word itself is thought to have first come into use around the 15th century,[1]Anderson HA. Breakfast: a history. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield; 2013 although at that time breakfast was seen as a luxury for the wealthy, or a necessity for labourers, young children, the sick and the elderly. These days, however, breakfast is part of most people’s regular daily meal pattern and dietary recommendations endorse starting the day with a nutritionally-balanced meal to refuel glycogen stores, kick start metabolism, stabilise blood sugar and provide energy for the day’s activities. Breakfast skippers are also warned that they are more likely to reach for unhealthier foods or eat larger serves at their next meal and find it harder to lose weight compared with those who …

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