A recent publication highlighting a survey of eating trends in Europe, quoted some very disturbing statistics. According to the data survey, breakfast is “the most missed meal in Europe”. Europeans skip 18% of their breakfasts, and British consumers lose out on 30% of their morning meals.
The prime reasons listed for missing breakfast by both men and women were lack of time and slimming.
a) Skipping breakfast
Research has repeatedly shown that people who skip breakfast encounter the following problems:
- By not eating after the 12-14 hour fast following the evening meal, blood sugar levels remain low in the morning causing tiredness, lethargy, lack of concentration, irritability, poor performance in the workplace and an increased tendency to make mistakes or have accidents
- Scholastic performance in children and teenagers who don’t eat breakfast is much lower than in those that eat a proper balanced meal in the morning
- To make up for the lack of breakfast, people tend to overeat for the rest of the day either by snacking (see above) or eating much larger lunches and suppers
- Overeating causes weight gain which in turn contributes to diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, arthritis and gout
- Breakfast contributes 30% or more of essential and protective nutrients to the daily intake. By skipping this important meal, it is difficult to make up the lack of nutrients such as iron, calcium, B vitamins, and vitamin C
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