Harvard Men's Health Watch

Breakfast-skippers: Don't forget your fruits and grains

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Skipping breakfast can reduce the overall number of healthy fruits and whole grains that you eat, according to a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. To study the impact of breakfast skipping, researchers drew on data collected from 2005 to 2010 in a national survey. Here are the key findings:

Breakfast skippers were apparently hungrier at lunch, since they tended to eat a half-hour earlier than usual and ate more calories—about 200 extra for men.

Both male and female breakfast skippers got more of their calories from snacks. However, over the entire day, men ate about 250 fewer calories than women who also skipped breakfast.

On no-breakfast days, people ate their dinner at about the same time and consumed the same number of calories at that meal as usual. However, they ate fewer servings of fruits and whole grains, suggesting they may need to make an effort to catch up on these healthy foods at lunch and dinner.