Teens are hammered with the message that they shouldn’t skip breakfast and that it’s the most important meal of the day, but teens are busy and many are concerned with weight loss and think that skipping a meal cuts calories. It turns out that the opposite is true. Eating breakfast can lead to weight loss.
The truth is that eating a bowl of cereal and a piece of fruit can not only give teens energy for the day, it makes it less likely that they will overeat later in the day or fill up on junk food from hunger because they skipped a meal. Hard to believe?
The marriage of weight loss and eating a healthy breakfast isn’t a new concept. A study by the University of Minnesoata, published in the journal Pediatrics in 2008, found that teens who sat down to breakfast on a regular basis had a lower body mass index than teens who skipped the meal. They also had a tendency to eat fewer saturated fats and more fiber, both of which can lead to weight loss.
So what kind of choices do Seattle teens have for breakfast? Most Seattle high schools don’t serve breakfast, so eating at home or on the way to school is the best option. A bowl of oatmeal or cereal or scrambled eggs and whole-grain toast, along with a glass of milk and fruit, is a good way to start the day. For busy teens who run late in the morning, even grabbing a piece of low-fat string cheese and an apple is healthier than skipping breakfast. For teens who can’t resist a stop at Starbucks in the morning, opt for healthy breakfast choices, such as oatmeal or a yogurt parfait.
Combining weight loss with the fact that teens who eat breakfast have been found to perform better in school, there’s no good reason to skip the meal and every reason to make the time for it in the morning.