Eat your breakfast

Published 11:20 pm Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Yet again, I have been dumbfounded here at work.

I thought my assignment was simple enough on Tuesday. I was supposed to write about Suffolk Public Schools participating in the federal summer food service program that provides free breakfasts for students.

I had the interview done, the basics of the program laid out and all I really needed was some information regarding the importance of breakfast for students.

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What I needed were the statistics proving the health benefits of eating breakfast. We have all grown up hearing that we should eat breakfast. It is one of the main talking points of learning the food pyramid in health class. Unfortunately, I could not call my sixth-grade P.E./Health teacher to quote her on the subject.

I just needed the data that proved eating breakfast was good for you.

I figured I would find a few articles written by some medical staffers talking about the importance of a balanced diet – and I did – but what surprised me were the journal entries after journal entries stressing the academic benefits of eating breakfast.

For example, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, children who do not have breakfast are less able to distinguish among similar images, have slower memory recall and have more errors in their work.

Then, I went to (Yup, I’m serious. Somewhere out there someone really likes his morning meal), and saw post after post regarding the benefits of breakfast eating. Like the one from May 14 that said a bowl of cornflakes is just as beneficial as an energy drink for revitalizing tired muscles.

Or the one posted on April 9 that said research has proved that feeding children high-energy breakfast foods at a young age boosts exam results at school. It went on to say that children who are routinely given breakfasts before their third birthday have higher scores in reading and problem-solving tests compared to their peers.

Did you get that? Eating breakfast before you are 3 years old can better prepare you for problem solving than all your other toddler buddies. Who would have thought?

There are loads more studies, tests and journal entries written on the subject that I did not have room for in the article, but they are out there if you want to read up on them.

But if you are going to give them a read, I suggest making plans for breakfast that morning, because it apparently works wonders.