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Doctor Doubts Breakfast Benefits: 'Breakfast Has No Mystical Powers'


  • Carlos Menendez, CC by 2.0

The Trix Rabbit may be downright melancholy over a controversial op-ed in The New York Times—the most e-mailed Times story of the week—which says breakfast isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Conventional wisdom has persisted for decades that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, with researchers insisting that people who ate breakfast every day were a third less likely to be obese and less likely to be hungry during the rest of the day.

But Dr. Aaron Carroll, from the Indiana University School of Medicine, wrote in The Times that he's tired of being bombarded with the constant message on the "power of breakfast," which he contends is based on "misinterpreted research and biased studies."

Under the title "Sorry, There's Nothing Magical About Breakfast," Carroll wrote: "People believe, and want you to believe that skipping breakfast is bad." But, "The associations should be viewed with skepticism and confirmed with prospective trials." Carroll adds that many of the studies are funded by the food industry.

"The bottom line is that the evidence for the importance of breakfast is something of a mess," wrote Carroll. "If you're hungry, eat it. But don't feel bad if you'd rather skip it, and don't listen to those who lecture you. Breakfast has no mystical powers."