According to a recent study, missing breakfast on a regular basis could leave you deficient in key nutrients. This is because breakfast foods, such as cereal and milk, are fortified with vitamins and minerals. Missing out on these essential nutrients in breakfast foods could mean missing out on them altogether, according to the study.
Comparing nutrient intakes
Researchers set out to determine whether total nutrient intakes were different in adults who ate breakfast compared with those who did not. The study included more than 30,000 adults who self-reported on what they ate in a 24-hour period. The researchers then used this information to calculate the nutrient intake of the participants, and grouped them according to whether they had skipped breakfast or not.
The study reported that people who missed breakfast consumed more energy, carbohydrates, fat, and sugar in the 24-hour period compared with people who ate breakfast. Importantly, these people were less likely to meet minimum intakes for vitamins and minerals such as folate, calcium, iron, vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin D during the 24-hour period.
Missing breakfast means missing out on key nutrients
Despite eating other foods during the day, the amounts of these vitamins and minerals were not sufficient from other meals.
According to the researchers, “What we’re seeing is that if you don’t eat the foods that are commonly consumed at breakfast, you have a tendency not to eat them the rest of the day. So those common breakfast nutrients become a nutritional gap.”
The study also reported that the quality of the diet was poor for people who skipped breakfast when compared with those who ate breakfast. According to the researchers, this may be partly due to snacking habits, “Snacking is basically contributing a meal’s worth of calorie intakes for people who skipped breakfast,” Taylor said. “People who ate breakfast ate more total calories than people who didn’t eat breakfast, but the lunch, dinner and snacks were much larger for people who skipped breakfast, and tended to be of a lower diet quality.”
Fanelli, S., Walls, C., & Taylor, C. (2021). Skipping breakfast is associated with nutrient gaps and poorer diet quality among adults in the United States. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 80(OCE1), E48. doi:10.1017/S0029665121000495
News release: Those breakfast foods are fortified for a reason. Available at: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-06/osu-tbf061421.php
Image by Pexels from Pixabay