Breakfast: The Meal Teens are Skipping

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Ali Sliwa, Staff Writer

Senior Lauren Tully wakes up every morning at 7:30 a.m. and changes. After Tully is dressed, she goes downstairs to make her lunch, brush her teeth and start her car. By 8 a.m Tully is out the door and on her way to her first period class at 8:13 a.m.

Although Tully’s morning routine seems efficient and organized, she is missing breakfast. Not only does Tully skip over breakfast in her morning routine, but 30% of teens across the globe are as well. Omitting breakfast has become a trend amongst teenagers that has negative effects such as low performance, energy and growth.

  Washington Post says, “Studies show that kids who do not eat a nutritious breakfast tend to eat more junk food during the day, whereas children who eat breakfast have better overall diets that include more vegetables, fruits and other good foods.” Getting extra sleep and skipping breakfast might be beneficial at the moment, but throughout the day breakfast will keep teens healthy and energized. 

Students at Wheaton Warrenville South High School have spoken out about their energy levels at school and the results are overwhelming. A survey was conducted and asked 50 students if they got hungry before lunch, and a whopping 90% of students said they got hungry. Eating breakfast will help eliminate pre-lunch hunger, stomach growling in class and lead to healthier snacks throughout the day.

Speaking of pre-lunch hunger, Wheaton Warrenville South senior Kat Tole speaks about her school day without breakfast, “I wish I had more time to eat in the morning because I am always hungry in first period and pull out a snack.” Without breakfast, hunger can set in and make it hard to focus in class. 

Washington Post claims, “Eating within two hours of waking can positively affect how your body metabolizes glucose, therefore stabilizing your blood sugar for the day.” Teens may feel low on energy the rest of their day due to low blood sugar, making it hard to go about daily tasks and activities in school. 

What could possibly keep teens from eating breakfast? The answer is sleep. In a survey completed by 50 students, 64% of students said the school start time determines whether or not they eat breakfast.The trend of skipping breakfast corresponds with how much time students have in the morning. If students got a full eight hours of sleep and still had time in the morning, they are more likely to eat breakfast.

 According to the Washington Post, “Studies report that about 25% of U.S. teens deem the first meal of the day unnecessary.” Students are prioritizing sleep over breakfast. The big question is: how can students prioritize both sleep and breakfast?

The answer is simple, a later start time. In a survey completed by 50 students, 19 out of the 36 students who wake up before 7 a.m. do not eat breakfast. In the same survey, it was noted that 9 out of 14 students who wake up after 7 a.m. eat breakfast. If the school start time was pushed back, more students would eat breakfast. 

 “If school started later and I could sleep in later I would fit in breakfast,” explained Tole, “I feel like if I ate breakfast I would actually be awake in my hard classes.”

 With a full eight hours of sleep teenagers will incorporate a well-balanced breakfast into their mornings and the trend of skipping breakfast will become a trend of the past.