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Nichole Pearson

English 1010
Argument Essay

Is Breakfast Really the Most Important Meal of the Day?


All growing up I was told to eat my breakfast, I needed a good start to
the day. I would be hungry during class if I didnt. The problem is, Im not a
morning eater. Occasionally I will eat first thing in the morning, but for the
most part, it makes me nauseous. Im just not hungry. I do better if I get up,
work out, get going for the day, then maybe eat something small like a
yogurt or piece of fruit (its usually closer to midday by this point). I cant sit
down and eat 400-500 calories in the morning. So is breakfast really the
most important meal of the day? Am I doing myself harm by waiting to eat?
No, not necessarily. Breakfast isnt the most important meal of the day. This
has been a big focus, especially in the world of weight loss. Here is a list of
the reasons we have always been taught that it is so important. Johns
Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health lists multiple reasons that
breakfast is so important:

Breakfast provides you with the energy and nutrients that

lead to increased concentration in the class room.


Studies show that breakfast can be important in

maintaining a healthy body weight.


Hunger sets in long before its time for lunch, but because
its not convenient to eat properly, many people who have

not eaten breakfast snack on foods that are high in fat and

sugar.
People who skip breakfast are unlikely to make up their
daily requirement for some vitamins and minerals that a

simple breakfast would have provided.


Breakfast provides energy for the activities during the
morning and helps to prevent that mid-morning slump.

Although Im not necessarily disputing that it could be important


to eat breakfast for some people, however, everyone is different. I
conducted a survey on Facebook. I asked Is breakfast the most
important meal of the day? Why or why not? The response I received
was divided. About half the people said yes, and half said no. I even
had one response from a dietician that said I think it is important to
eat breakfast nutritionally, however I also believe there is strong social
support for family meals being the most important. So, maybe if
breakfast was that meal that was eaten together, then yes, it would be
the most important. She references the fact that a nutritional
breakfast, and family time is really whats important. That can apply to
all meals. So according to that survey, and much of what Ive read, it
all depends on the person. Breakfast may be important for one
person, and repulsive for another.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted a study in
which there were two groups of people. Those who ate breakfast, and

those who didnt. Each group varied with a BMI of 20-45. The test ran
for 16 weeks. The test result was documented with change in weight.
What did they find? Treatment assignment did not have a significant
effect on weight loss, and there was no interaction between initial
breakfast eating status and treatment. Treatment being the
assignment of whether or not to eat breakfast. (American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition) Similarly, a study conducted by Cornell University in
Physiology and Behavior in 2013 found that when students skipped
breakfast, they were more likely to take in about 150 more calories at
lunch. However, this still lowered calorie intake overall when the
average breakfast was around 600 calories. (Rita Rubin) So the
argument that we more than make up for the morning calories
throughout the day, isnt necessarily the case.
Born Fitness is a blog that has been started to get real
information out to the public on health and fitness issues. Born Fitness
argues that Breakfast is not the most important meal of the day. But
neither is lunch, dinner, or snacks. It continues to talk about how
relying on the belief that a eating a single meal can crack the weight
loss code does more harm than good. If breakfast is something you
are forced to do, doesnt it harm the psyche more? The mentality that
my body is wrong because it doesnt want breakfast isnt a good
message. One person in my survey claims that you need to train your
body to be hungry in the morning by eating earlier in the evening.

Whether this works or not, it still comes down to one thing; it doesnt
make a difference if you eat breakfast or dont. What works for you?
What does matter however is the balance of macronutrients, and
the nutritional value of the food we do eat. I can eat a diet of 1750
calories that is all junk food, and it isnt going to do me any good.
However if most to all of that 1750 calories has a high nutritional
value, and allows my macronutrients to balance, then I will get the
most out of my food. No matter what meal it is. According to Born
Fitness;
Research can be flawed, but our bodys biological nature is
not meant to be deceiving. Weight loss depends on how
many calories you eat, the foods you eat, and the
macronutrients you consume in your diet (that is, whats
the ration of proteins, carbs, and fats). Add in your
exercise tendencies, and that will determine how you look
and feel.
According to Rita Rubin at Web MD, research hasnt shown that eating
breakfast can lead to weight loss, neither does it show that eating breakfast
makes you pack on the pounds. I return to my previous comment that you
need to figure out what your body needs, as well as eating healthily
balanced diets throughout the day.

John Berardi lists several things that are beneficial in favor of eating
breakfast, they coincide with the information from Johns Hopkins as well.

Decreased overall appetite


Decreased overall food consumption
Decreased body weight
Improved academic performance
Improved blood sugar control

Obviously if this was the only information, its obvious, we should eat our
breakfast, right? Well Berardi also lists the benefits of intermittent fasting.
Experts believe that skipping breakfast is part of the magic here.

Reduces: blood lipids, blood pressure, markers of

inflammation, oxidative stress, and cancer


Increases: cell turnover and repair, fat burning, growth

hormone release, and metabolic rate


Improves: appetite control, blood sugar control,

cardiovascular function, and neuronal plasticity


Increased fat breakdown
Increase in the release of growth hormone (provides anti-

aging and fat loss benefits)


Improves blood glucose control
Improves cardiovascular function
Decreases food intake

So now what? Should I eat breakfast or not? Breakfast is optional,


which means, it is not the most important meal of the day. If you love
breakfast, are doing well with eating it, and feel like its helping you
accomplish your health and fitness goals: Keep at it! If youre not a
breakfast person, function really well without it, and are accomplishing your

health and fitness goals: theres no harm in waiting until later (John Berardi,
Huffington Post). Therefore, I claim that breakfast is not the most important
meal of the day for all people.

Nichole Pearson
English 1010
Annotated Bibliography
Facebook Survey
I conducted a survey on Facebook. I asked the question Is breakfast
the most important meal of the day? Why or why not? This allowed me to
set an idea for what the general public thinks. I got a response split right
down the middle. This fact supports my idea that it depends on the person.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health


I chose this source for my Essay because it simply lists the arguments
for breakfast being important. Its a great jumping off point for me to get
started. It provides the basic arguments I heard growing up about why
eating breakfast is so important.

Dhurandhar, Emily J., John Dawson, Amy Alcorn, Lesli H. Larsen, Elizabeth A. Thomas,
Michelle Cardel, Ashley C. Bourland, Arne Astrup, Marie-Pierre St-Onge, James O. Hill,

Caroline M. Apovian, James M. Shikany, and David B. Allison. "The Effectiveness of Breakfast
Recommendations on Weight Loss: A Randomized Controlled Trial." The American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition (2014). Web. 1 Mar. 2016.
<http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2014/06/04/ajcn.114.089573.abstract>.
This source provided a scientific approach to testing the effectiveness
of a morning meal. The experiment was conducted over a 16 week period,
and the result was measured by weight loss. The results showed no
discernable effect on weight loss. This supports my stance that breakfast is
optional, and should be based on our individual needs.

Bornstein, Adam. "Breakfast Is Not the Most Important Meal." Www.bornfitness.com. Web. 1
Mar. 2016. <www.bornfitness.com/breakfast-is-not-the-most-important-meal/>.
This blog began because there was so much conflicting information in
the world of health and fitness. Adam Bornstein wanted simplify the
messages, while give you the information that would benefit your life. Its
about having access to the right information that fits into your preferences,
then allowing you follow the steps into a better life. He attacks the breakfast
issue by making it clear that whether or not you should eat breakfast,
depends upon what your body needs to function well.

Rubin, Rita, and Hansa D. Bhargava, MD. "Is Breafast Really the Most Important Meal?"
Www.webmd.com. 29 Aug. 2014. Web. 1 Mar. 2016.
<www.webmd.com/diet/20140902/breakfast-importance?page=1>.
This source gives me a good baseline of credible medical information
and studies on the importance of breakfast. It also stresses that the claim
that breakfast is the most important meal of the day is more of an
observational study, this makes it difficult to find absolute answers.

Berardi, John, PhD. "Breakfast: Not Really the Most Important Meal of the Day." Huffington
Post. 15 Dec. 2013. Web. 1 Mar. 2016. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-berardiphd/breakfast-health_b_4436439.html>.
Dr. Berardi is founder of Precision Nutrition. His article provided a lot
of information about eating in a way that works for you. He found that when
researchers dug into the literature that suggests that breakfast is the most
important meal of the day they found biased interpretation, improper use of
language to describe their results and the results of others, and misleadingly

citing others results. He supports my claim that it is dependent upon the


person as to whether or not breakfast is important.