While there are so many different approaches and beliefs regarding nutritional habits and what people should eat, most, if not all approaches agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And when schools are trying to cut breakfasts from the cafeteria, it only marks the beginning of something much worse.
Attempting to prove how bad of an idea cutting breakfast from school cafeterias is, a team of researchers from the United States showed that two breakfasts are better than none for students. Between none, one, and two breakfasts eaten every day, eating none had the highest chance of leading to obesity.
School cafeteria study
Looking at somewhere around 600 students attending middle school, ranging from fifth graders to seventh graders, the researchers examined their breakfast habits. They studied whether they ate breakfast at home, at school, both, or none at all, as well as their obesity rates.
Somewhat surprisingly, the team found that the children who didn’t eat breakfast or did so irregularly had a higher chance of becoming obese, a chance about twice as high. Meanwhile, the students who ate double breakfast didn’t show any particular increase in the amount of weight gained.
The study came as a result of several officials, including New York’s old mayor Michael Bloomberg, claiming that allowing children to have breakfast at school would only contribute to the obesity rates that are ever-increasing in the country. But it turns out that it’s the exact opposite.
Still, most school officials aren’t really willing to implement measures that would allow children to enjoy a better breakfast on behalf of the school. This is quite the big issue, as even though the same price deductions should apply to breakfast as they do to lunch, only about half the number of children get subsidized breakfasts.
Theories and hypotheses
Despite the revealing nature of the study and its importance for the future of school cafeteria meals, the research was quite limited. First of all, it was an observational study, so the researchers couldn’t tell the reasons behind the finding. However, they do have some potentially accurate theories.
First of all, school breakfast is pretty healthy compared to other foods .The children weren’t found to eat donuts or pizza during the earliest meal, so that’s good. Second of all, the accelerated metabolism children are lucky to benefit from helps them process the excess calories much faster.
Last but not least, if they were found to skip breakfast, children were more likely to overindulge during lunch, habit that isn’t quite as healthy as a double breakfast. This is because the lunch menus in school cafeterias are far more calorie-packed than breakfasts.
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