Second breakfast: The Hobbits were on to something

From MedPage Today (For Kids, Two Breakfasts Healthier Than None)

Middle-school students who routinely ate two breakfasts — one at home and one at school — were still more likely to maintain a healthy body weight than those who skipped breakfast, a longitudinal study found.

Previous studies have shown a link between skipping breakfast and weight gain, but the mechanisms behind this phenomenon are not well understood either, Schwartz and colleagues said. One reason may be reverse causality: Overweight individuals skip breakfast thinking it will help them lose weight. Another theory is that skipping breakfast leads to overeating later in the day.

I’m a breakfast eater, so such studies validate my own biases, much as the frequent articles about the health benefits of coffee, chocolate and alcohol warm the souls of those substances’ partisans.

But this study reminded me of the wisdom of the Hobbits, who seemed to be a happy, healthy lot. They had breakfast and second breakfast, plus five meals beyond that. Any good researcher knows to end his/her paper with a call for further research. In this case I think a study of Elevenses would make a good follow-on.

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By healthcare business consultant David E. Williams, president of Health Business Group.

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