We all want to stay well and perform at our best, so an important first step is making sure we eat breakfast every day. However, breakfast skipping is all too common in both adults and children. A study in UK schoolchildren aged 10-16 years found that almost a third of children regularly missed breakfast before school and were more likely than their classmates to be inactive, unfit and very overweight. In general, breakfast skipping is associated with a higher Body Mass Index (BMI).
Skipping breakfast is not good for our diets or body weight, as hunger peaks mid-morning leading to an increased risk of snacking on unhealthy foods. In contrast, research has consistently found that the breakfast habit seems to protect against piling on the pounds. A recent review found that adults who ate ready to eat cereals were less likely than breakfast skippers to be overweight or obese, and also had fewer heart health risk factors.
In a similar study among youngsters aged 9-13 years, those who ate ready to eat cereals had lower intakes of dietary fat and cholesterol and higher intakes of carbohydrates, dietary fibre, and several vitamins and minerals when compared with breakfast skippers and youngsters who ate other types of breakfasts. Breakfast skippers also had higher age-appropriate BMI and a higher waist circumference than youngsters who ate ready to eat cereals and other types of breakfast. 
Skipping breakfast is thought to influence our cognitive (mental) performance. Research reveals that breakfast skipping in children aged 8-10 years, who usually ate breakfast, decreased their energy levels and cheerfulness. In a study among 40 youngsters who usually skipped breakfast, respondents said they felt more alert, full and content after consumption of breakfast cereals. More recent studies continue to show the risks to our health of skipping breakfast, including an increased risk of diabetes, a higher risk of serious heart health problems and metabolic syndrome  - the medical term for a combination of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Such research data provide yet more evidence why breakfast is the most important meal of the day whatever your age!
BREAKFAST CEREAL INFORMATION SERVICE FAST FACTS: Breakfast cereals provide the basis of a healthy breakfast. They are fortified with a range of essential vitamins and minerals. Several studies in both children and adults  indicate consistently that breakfast cereals eaters have higher intakes of B vitamins and minerals, such as iron, zinc and calcium, compared with non-consumers.
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