Skipping meals like breakfast or lunch happens because students are too busy or too stretched for cash to eat right. However, starting the day off right with the most important meal of the day could be beneficial both physically and mentally.

Concepcion Gonzalez / Courier Students get on line to pay for their coffee and food right before the go off to class, on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, in Lancer Pass.
Concepcion Gonzalez / Courier
Students get on line to pay for their coffee and food right before the go off to class, on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, in Lancer Pass.

Breakfast-skippers have a higher risk of obesity according to a 2003 study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. Eating earlier in the day prevents people from overeating later in the day. It also suppresses concentrations of insulin, a hormone in our body that encourages fat cells to take up fatty acids and store them.

A small 2005 study published in the journal of Physiology and Behavior and Behavior found that elementary school kids who ate a breakfast of oatmeal had better short-term memory than students who did not.

Breakfast foods contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to jump-start your day. If you’re running on empty, it won’t be long before you begin feeling tired and cranky. A 1999 study published in Physiology and Behavior showed that adults who kicked off the day with a solid breakfast had a “greater positive mood” than subjects who ate nothing.

Unhealthy eating habits may put someone in harm’s way when it comes to developing certain types of chronic diseases. Unhealthy eating could lead to nutrient imbalances in the body. Fat intake is usually high when someone is choosing unhealthy foods and this can lead to heart disease, which is still the number one killer of Americans in the U.S., according to PCC instructor and registered dietitian Victoria Pacheco.

“Breakfast means to break the fast from the day before,” said Pacheco. “There is also newer research that is linking meal skipping to the development of type two diabetes. Currently there are 92 million people in the US that are considered to be ‘pre-diabetic.’ Skipping meals usually leads to a bigger meal. This bigger meal is a stress to the pancreas, which eventually tires out the pancreas, and less insulin is produced.”

Making a conscious effort to eat better may be a challenge but it is well worth it, health science instructor Priya Venkatesan said.

“It is time to prioritize, strategize, and ace your commitments,” said Venkatsen.
“Depend on others and get stronger together. I am sure you do see many students in your classroom with a fruit, a cereal bar, a Starbucks beverage or water. What are you waiting for? Imitate good habits and network in your classroom. Irrespective of your ultimate academic goal here at PCC, you all need to be healthy to be at your best.”

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