Teenagers skipping breakfast can lead to disease


Bobbie Randall - Contributing columnist



An international study reported that teens who skip breakfast are more likely to be obese than adolescents who ate breakfast. Skipping the first meal of the day does not help them lose weight.

The research study confirmed that obesity in teens is not just an American issue. Many teenagers across the globe think that if they skip breakfast then they will consume fewer calories. But research has proven that, in fact, the opposite could be correct.

Usually skipping the first meal of the day contributes to many unhealthy habits and behaviors. This, in turn, can cause premature health issues, like cardiovascular diseases and Type 2 diabetes.

Regardless of gender, environment or sleep habits skipping breakfast as a teenager is associated with a body memory that will follow these kids for the rest of their life. As their bodies grow into adulthood, the amount and kinds of calories form a pattern for energy use and storage as they mature.

A healthy, early meal including dairy products, whole grain cereals, a protein source and fruit first thing in the morning supersedes a fast food menu on the way to school. Deep fried snacks, pastries, soda pop and other sugary drinks are all directly associated with the development of obesity.

Hyper caloric foods before, during and after school without adequate exercise causes weight gain. Obesity is associated with adult diseases in children under 18.

Approximately 60 or more minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity is considered adequate for a growing body. Sitting too long increases the risk of disease.

Girls usually grow in height until the age of 15 years old whereas boys can continue to grow until 25. Breakfast plays an important part in vertical growth.

Horizontal growth, otherwise called girth, continues through adulthood. The most important meal of the day is breakfast. It breaks the fast from the overnight sleep.

Many say that they are not hungry in the morning. Usually this is because of two good reasons. The first can be remedied with an 8-ounce glass of water. It awakens the digestive tract and prepares it for digestion. Rehydration is vital for breaking the fast.

Another reason for not wanting to eat breakfast in the morning is that the stomach is still full from the night before. This may not be the entire story but pay attention to what is consumed before sleep. Ceasing to eat at least an hour before bed will help to decrease the feeling of bloating and fullness in the morning. Bedtime snacks should consist of small snack of easily digested food, not a fourth meal.

A teenage breakfast can be eaten on the run. Smoothies with at least 20-25 grams of protein is a quick meal. Hard boiled eggs, cheese, Greek yogurt, leftovers from last night’s dinner, hummus, a large glass of milk with a handful of wheat crackers with a piece of fruit, even sardines can be called a breakfast. Eat early to be the best.


Bobbie Randall

Contributing columnist

Bobbie Randall is a registered, licensed dietitian, certified diabetes educator in Wooster, Ohio. Contact her at [email protected]

Bobbie Randall is a registered, licensed dietitian, certified diabetes educator in Wooster, Ohio. Contact her at [email protected]