To Your Health
January, 2011 (Vol. 05, Issue 01)
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Get a Healthy Start

By Editorial Staff

Begin every day with a healthy breakfast or pay the consequences "Start off the day with a balanced breakfast" is a popular phrase in health circles, yet it's also one of the least likely to be taken to heart.

Why do so many skip breakfast when the health consequences are so profound? From adolescence through adulthood, too many of us seem to consider the first meal of the day the least important, when it's actually the most important. It's too early, we have too much to do, we don't feel like it, we haven't "woken up yet" - all common reasons for starving ourselves after a long night without food.

What's the result? It goes far beyond reduced mental alertness and lack of energy; according to a recent study. In the study, children ages 9-15 reported whether they usually ate breakfast before school; skipping the meal was defined as not eating between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. Years later, when study participants were 26-36 years of age, the researchers asked the same question to discern whether breakfast skipping had continued until adulthood.

breakfast - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Skipping breakfast in childhood and adulthood increased the likelihood of having larger waist circumference, higher fasting insulin, and higher low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and total cholesterol in adulthood compared to consistent breakfast eaters.

The moral: You're never too busy for breakfast! Even if you have to "eat on the run," find a minute or two to toast a whole-wheat bagel or blend fresh berries with nonfat yogurt and protein powder. If that's too time-consuming, do a little legwork the night before so your whole-grain cereal and milk are ready to take to work. Your body will thank you for it.