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Why breakfast might NOT be the most important meal of the day

by AirTalk®

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circa 1960: Child actor Johnny Crawford looks forward to eating a pile of pancakes in an International House of Pancakes, a chain of eateries in the USA started in 1958 by Californian brothers Al and Jerome Lapin Keystone Features/Getty Images

“Eat your breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day”-- it’s conventional wisdom, not to mention a pillar of U.S. Dietary Guideline policy.

But a closer look at the science behind those Dietary Guidelines reveals some pretty shaky evidence.

The Guidelines are important because they influence the menus of school lunches and other federally subsidized program and because in a time where obesity is still widespread, many parents look to them for sound eating advice.

It’s especially bad timing also, because the credibility of the committee’s nutritional recommendations have been shaken in the last year by watershed moments, like the dropping of a longstanding warning about dietary cholesterol, contradictory studies about the dangers of salt and saturated fat.

So, how important is breakfast? And should the U.S. Dietary Guidelines be dictating policy in areas where the science is still theoretical?


Peter Whoriskey, staff writer for The Washington Post handling investigations of financial and economic topics and recently looked into studies about the nutritional benefits of breakfast

Linda Van Horn, professor of nutrition and preventive medicine at Northwestern University; she sat on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) that considered the issue and was appointed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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