How Important Is Breakfast?

Most people have been perpetually reminded since childhood that breakfast is a must. But in recent years, nutritionists and scientists have called this crucial eating time into question. And despite a plethora of research, the scientific community still hasn’t come to a solid conclusion as to when the best time to eat your first meal of the day really is.

The short answer, says sports nutritionist and registered dietician Leslie Bonci, is that it depends on how old you are and your daily habits. For kids, studies have shown that eating a meal first thing in the morning has a positive influence on cognitive performance in school, especially on task-oriented behaviors—and particularly in students younger than 18. But for us older folks, the exact time that we chow down on our first meal of the day is really about personal preference. But often, Bonci says, our personal preferences are reflective of our daily habits.

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