2012-08-21

People Who Eat Breakfast Are Smarter And Skinnier

This infographic makes incredibly clear the multiple benefits of a morning meal: a faster brain and better eating habits throughout the day.

How are you doing at work today? If you answered: Super productive, then we’re guessing you ate breakfast this morning. Yes, yes, Mom always said it was the most important meal of the day, but there has since been a lot of science to back up the old adage. Eating a good breakfast will make you a better, more efficient thinker during the day. And it’s not just about increasing your brainpower. Eating breakfast makes you healthier.

All that and more can be found in this clever, food-filled infographic about breakfast from OnlineColleges.net. If you didn’t eat breakfast today, perhaps a look at some statistics can convince you to try it tomorrow. Most importantly, nearly all Americans know that they should eat breakfast. But, still, most of us don’t care. (We can be a stubborn people, it’s true.) In fact, fewer than half of us consume the day’s most important meal.

And why, exactly, should we all eat breakfast? Well, it’s pretty simple: Your brain needs nutrients to function. Making it wait until lunch makes it not work at full power. We all understand this (which is why we know we should eat breakfast), but it can be hard to implement. Here’s some science to help change your behavior:

But forget productivity. What’s at stake is larger than how many emails you returned in the morning. Even if you can manage to muddle through the morning before you eat lunch, by the time you get there, you’re starving, and you’re going to make bad food decisions. People who don’t eat breakfast consistently eat food that is worse for them the rest of the day. You might think that skipping a meal will make you skinnier and healthier. But you’d be wrong. You make up for those lost calories later--and then blast right past them.

So, think about breakfast. The full infographic, which you can see below, has some tips on what best to do (whole grains) and what not to do (sugary treats) for your morning meal. Whatever you do, though, your body--and your boss--will be thanking you if you eat something in the morning.

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11 Comments

  • trekmyer

    Most of the people I heve met always say the same thing (myself included) about breakfast: "I am not hungry that early (before you head out to work) in the morning.
    I eat something early in the morning the last 10 years or so, even though I have to force feed myself.
    My energy flow is stronger, steadier and more consistent throughout the day when I eat some oatmeal or whole wheat toast , a banana, whatever---and I do physical labor.

  • Naman

    I agree, breakfast is as much about having proper nutrition as it is about maintains discipline. And is manifests itself into a successful lifestyle.

  • Chip Hanna

    The writer/designer really needs to read this: http://www.leangains.com/2010/... #7, in particular.

    From the post:
    Breakfast skippers have dysregulated eating habits and show a higher disregard for health. People who skip breakfast are also more likely to be dieting, thus by default they are also likely to be heavier than non-dieters. Keep in mind that most people who resort to breakfast skipping are not the type that sit around and read about nutrition. They are like most people dieting in a haphazard manner. The type to go on a 800 calorie-crash diet and then rebound, gaining all the weight (and then some) back.

    Martin is an excellent resource for this.

  • Julius Heslet

    There is VERY little scientific evidence suggesting that eating breakfast is good for you in any way. The correlation between eating breakfast and getting good grades and eating less sugar is purely connected to the fact that breakfast-skippers typically skip breakfast because of their bad lifestyle. Not that their bad lifestyle is a result of skipping breakfast. It has actually been shown to be beneficial to SKIP breakfast!

    I'm slightly tired of this pseudo-science and infographics that people accept for being fact!

  • RM

    Eat breakfast Julius, there are noticeable differences for sure. There is very little need for scientific evidence to show that the human body, along with all animals need food/fuel to function optimally. What evidence do you need?? You sleep, let's say 6 hours, I'm guessing you have a bad lifestyle, so add that to the post dinner hours and you have around 8-10 hours of not eating a thing. Then you wait for lunch... let's make that a typical 12 PM, so now that figure has jumped up to 12-14 hours of eating. We're now looking at half a day of starving yourself.

    In a competition, the most prepared person wins. Being prepared means you're fueled and ready to go. Eat your breakfast and disregard the little or significant evidence that may or may not exist. That argument is futile because eating breakfast makes everyone slightly better performing and that's undeniable.

  • Stephen Stanley

    More informationally thin graphics.  Can you have your graphic designers please read Stephen Few's books, or Edward Tufte's books on visual displays of quantitative information?  These "info" graphics are misleading on any number of levels leading me to believe they have more to do with advocacy than with information.

  • theperfectnose

    When you have a link with data in the text, I expect it to lead to actual data in peer-reviewed Scientific papers with clear Statistical analyses on real information. Not another fastcompany article with infographics. Also, everything here looks really fatty and wholly unappetising. Do you have any actual data demonstrating that bacon, sausages and beans for breakfast is a way to prevent breakfast skipping related obesity (sic-if such a thing actually exists). Way to underestimate the intelligence of your readership. You guys used to have some real news but that's been a rarity around here for a while now. Finally giving up on you and unsubscribing.

  • pambamboo

    Agreeing with the first two commenters:  screaming and misleading headlines make me distrust all the information.  But really, what is wrong with the colors on this infographic?  Everything looks greasy and disgusting. Raw bacon + blueberries!  Burnt toast + what is that thing above the 'fat around the waist' stat?  Looks like bacon grease on top of red cabbage.  Yuck.

    I love fastco and read it every day and it's rare that you get things wrong.  I'm usually praising good writing.  Kind of a miss this time though.

  • Novel_Ink

    Stop writing embellished headlines.  Everyone does it but it's extremely annoying.  You can't make broad sweeping statements that, as the article brings out, are only suggested or implied or SOMETIMES true.  The sometimes is important.  Simply changing the article from "are" to "can be" would be actually accurate.  But you want to bait readers so you twist the truth to make it more appealing.  Congrats, great journalism. 

    That aside the article brings out some interesting points, although most is tired rehash only made more interesting by the infographic.  Infographics are being overused these days.  Instead of using it to present new information or information in new ways people use to present tired and common data and then just dress it up to make it appealing.  While this may work for the informed some of us ask for more. 

  • Koobazaur

    Very much agree; over-dramatic headlines do a good job of attracting the gullible at the cost of your credibility. But I guess it's your choice if you prefer readership vs. respect (and most sources, understandably, choose the former).

    And the infograhpics, while nicely done, do not really bring anything new to the table (pun not intended).