Health Tips: Skipping Breakfast Can Lead to Unhealthy Habits

Compared to breakfast-eaters, breakfast-skippers tend to weigh more and have other unhealthy habits, such as consuming too many sugary drinks or high-calorie snacks, according to a panel discussion during a symposium at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) 2012 Annual Meeting & Food Expo.

Research shows about 18 percent of Americans older than age two regularly skip breakfast, said Nancy Auestad, PhD, vice president of regulatory affairs at the Dairy Research Institute.

“Most of these negative factors were abbreviated when breakfast was consumed, compared with breakfast-skippers,” said Heather Leidy, PhD, assistant professor in the department of nutrition and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri. “Targeting that behavior could lead to a reduction in obesity.”

Leidy conducted research focusing on the role of protein in breakfast, and she found that the effects of breakfast-skipping were felt throughout the day. Despite the benefits of consistently eating breakfast, all the participants in Leidy’s study went back to being breakfast-skippers within six months, citing the lack of available healthy, high-protein foods.