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12 Harmful Effects Of Skipping Breakfast

We have all experienced our mothers running behind us with breakfast in one hand, and a glass of milk in the other. For centuries, mothers have fed their children in a timely fashion, even without the scientific data available today.

Breakfast is an important meal of the day. It provides the needed energy to start the day, active and fresh. It is the meal with which you break your fast for the day. However, many of us are skipping it due to insufficient time or to fulfill the dream of slimming and cutting down the calorie intake. So, how bad is it to skip breakfast? How does it affect our health? Continue to read ahead to learn about the significant side effects of skipping breakfast.

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1. Troubled heart health

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According to a report released by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the chances of a heart attack occurring in men who skip breakfast is 27% higher. According to Dr. Leah Cahill of the JAMA study, skipping breakfast is a concerning issue, and having a healthy breakfast has the potential to reduce the chances of heart strokes occurring. Skipping breakfast also results in the development of hypertension, leading to obstruction of arteries, as well as the development of increased risk of chronic cardiovascular conditions, including a stroke.

2. Type 2 diabetes

A study conducted by Harvard University’s Public Health Department highlighted the relationship between eating habits and good health. The six-year study showed that women who didn’t eat breakfast had higher chances of developing type 2 diabetes than those who ate breakfast. Still want to skip it?

3. Weight gain

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According to studies conducted on the adverse impacts on health for skipping your morning meal, missing the first meal of the day results in weight gain. Forgoing eating anything for breakfast also results in an increase in craving for fatty and sugar-rich foods later in the day. Furthermore, due to the increased hunger pangs, you are sure to eat anything that you can get your hands on for that day. The result is increased weight, exceeding the needed calorie intake for a day. With an increase in hunger, there will also be an increase in the quantity of food that you intake, leading to abnormal weight gain.

4. Effect on mood and energy levels

A study published in The Physiological Behavior Journal in 1999 states that skipping your breakfast has a negative impact on energy levels and mood. The study conducted on 144 healthy people, showed that avoiding breakfast has an effect on energy and mood. Subjects who did not eat breakfast had poor memory skills and increased fatigue levels than the group that received breakfast and coffee. Skipping the morning breakfast reduces the energy levels and switches the mood, which influences the behavior for the rest of the day and functioning of the memory.

5. Cancer


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Skipping your morning meal causes you to indulge excessively in consuming food for the remainder of the day. This increased consumption paves the path for the accumulation of fat, resulting in obesity. According to a study carried out by Cancer Research UK, people who skip breakfast and become obese have a higher risk of developing cancer than those who have proper breakfast.

6. Affects cognitive functioning

Eating a healthy breakfast will help your cognitive functionality. The results displayed by a study conducted on teenagers between 12 and 15 years had showed interesting results. In one trial, one group received breakfast and showed accurate results for a visual search. In the second trial, when the group received no breakfast, the visual search results had hampered output. As a result, it is proven that breakfast influences cognitive functionality.

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7. Migraine

The medical term for low blood sugar levels is hypoglycemia. Breakfast being the first meal of the day results in producing controlled levels of blood sugar. However, when a person skips their breakfast, the blood sugar levels fall drastically, resulting in an excessive release of hormones that enter the bloodstream to compensate for the reduced glucose levels. The action shoots the blood pressure levels, which results in frequent headaches and migraines. Eating breakfast can help reduce the occurrence of migraines.

8. Hair loss

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A diet that lacks in protein can result in reduced development of keratin, which is the source for healthy hair and growth of hair. Breakfast is an important meal, as it provides the needed nutrients, proteins, and carbohydrates necessary for the body to produce energy. It further provides the needed resources that promote the growth of hair follicles. If you wish to have healthy hair with reduced or no hair fall, make sure you have a protein rich breakfast.

9. Effect on metabolism

Metabolism is like the fuel that starts the ignition in a vehicle. Breakfast is the fuel that you are providing to the body after almost 12 hours of eating anything. To jump-start your day, having breakfast is essential. Additionally, studies conducted on the importance of having a breakfast point out that those who eat breakfast have healthier metabolism rates than those who skip breakfast.

10. Menstrual irregularities

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According to a paper published in the journal Appetite, skipping breakfast resulted in increased menstrual irregularities. The irregularities further included excessive bleeding and painful menses. Additionally, it also resulted in suffering from constipation. These are high among teenagers, who are going through their “post-adolescent maturation” growth. Skipping your breakfast in these conditions negatively affects the growth of the body.

11. Agitated mood swings

Skipping breakfast can make you feel grumpy because you feel tired and lethargic. Additionally, you may become upset if you do not eat anything until lunchtime. It is not a good combination if your work requires moving around with other people. It will be difficult to concentrate and focus on work, as you are internally fighting against hunger pangs.

12. Hangovers

We’ve all been there, where we’ve had a bit too much to drink the night before. One of the best ways to ward off a hangover is to have breakfast. A breakfast that is rich in vitamins, minerals, iron, and folates will provide the resources for the body to compensate for nutrients. The addition of these ingredients into the body also helps in spiking the energy levels. Forgoing breakfast will only worsen the condition of a hangover by reducing the sugar levels. Due to this, a person will experience nausea and headaches. Therefore, a healthy breakfast can help alleviate a hangover.

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The consequences that you face by skipping your breakfast not only affect the morning hours but also have an impact on you throughout the day. By skipping your breakfast, you’re negatively affecting your health. The detrimental effects deteriorate your performance and the capability to focus on things.

There is always time for breakfast. It is important that every person allots time for the first meal of the day. For those who find it difficult to fit breakfast into their routine, there are many quick options. A better way is by preparing or planning the night before for the next day’s breakfast. For example, one can make a casserole that is a perfect way to start the day, and which fulfills the daily breakfast for the next three days. You can even prepare salads with fruits that you can carry along to your workplace. It just requires a few minutes of planning for all those who are on the run.

Breakfast can be conventional or non-traditional. There is no single answer for a healthy breakfast, as it includes a variety of things right from fruits to fresh juice to dry cereal. One can also pick up prepackaged foods or cook from scratch, depending on personal preferences and schedules. However, it is important to ensure that the breakfast is a mixture of nutrients, vitamins, proteins, and carbohydrates in order to provide sufficient fuel for the body to start the day’s activities. A balanced breakfast with all of these ingredients will reduce the hunger pangs for someone with long working hours. You always have choices that lead to a healthy life and avoid development of unwanted consequences by skipping your breakfast.

Featured image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

Article Name
12 Harmful Effects Of Skipping Breakfast
Are you in the habit of skipping breakfast? Stop it, right NOW, or you'll have to face these consequences!
Shruti Fatehpuria

Shruti Fatehpuria

I am a misfit software engineer who left her work in the corporate world to pursue the insatiable quest to write. A freelance worker by the day, I choose to dream with eyes open wide. I have conversations with myself where I talk of the possibilities that life can hold. Too many wishes made on empty starless nights ensure that there are various dreams yet to be lived. I am working my way as I am on a quest to find myself. The greatest journeys are indeed the ones that lie within. I am yet to live my story because right now, the book is full of too many apostrophes and too many commas. The words are jumbled until the right one fits the puzzle. I don't believe in perfection because too many times, it is imperfection which paints the perfect story. I am verbose and I aim at living life in full swing until a speed breaker curbs the tantalizing pace with which I wish to conquer the dreams that would otherwise be too big for the not-so-tiny shoes I wear. Blessed with a lot of chubby fat, I love going the extra mile to conquer my extra dreams with an extra advice after all, we all love a little extra. A die-hard shopaholic, you can often find me laughing on serious stuff inappropriately at wrong times (unintentionally).