Most Important Meal Of The Day? This Doctor Believes It's Just Fine To Skip Breakfast

Skipping breakfast might not be so bad, according to this doctor. Katherine Lim CC BY 2.0

For the longest time, experts called breakfast the most important meal of the day. Children who skip breakfast put themselves at risk of diabetes, while those who don’t have better performance in school. While the evidence mounts against missing breakfast, one doctor says you’ll be just fine if you don’t want the most important meal of the day.

Dr. Aaron Carroll, creator of the YouTube page Healthcare Triage, lays out exactly why he hasn’t eaten breakfast in decades: He’s just not hungry at seven in the morning. Carroll argues we shouldn’t force ourselves to eat a meal we don’t want, especially as it might lead to weight gain. However, skipping breakfast actually has no effect on weight, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found.

Carroll doesn’t really say you should skip breakfast, though. He says his wife and two sons eat it, but his other son follows in his father’s footsteps and doesn’t eat it. Before you decry a father for denying his son breakfast, consider this: While the article linked above shows kids perform better in school after eating breakfast, Carroll argues these studies focus on underprivileged kids who don’t have proper access to a morning meal.

“[The kids] likely wanted breakfast,” Carroll argues, “and weren’t getting it. No one denies that hungry kids should eat. I have no doubt kids that are hungry will be less likely to pay attention and will not do as well. Hungry kids should be fed. But this is different from forcing kids to eat if they don’t want to.”

The message behind the video is this: If you want to eat breakfast, eat it. If you don’t want to, you don’t have to eat it, no matter what other people say.

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