On 08/Nov/2019 / In Articles
Health experts have warned adults and children against skipping breakfast, saying it is important to kick the day’s activities with the needed energy. In an interview with our correspondent, a nutritionist at the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Mr Oladimeji Okunola, and a Consultant Paediatrician at Eko Hospital Plc, Lagos, Dr Adaugo Onyedinma, warned against replacing breakfast meals with junks.
Okunola said, “Skipping any meal is not healthy, including breakfast. Breakfast is very important for healthy living. The brain does not have reserves for glucose, it is the carbohydrate from the breakfast that helps to supply the brain daily. Skipping breakfast might not allow one to function optimally during the day.
“Skipping breakfasts will make one to be craving for snacks to fill the cravings and hunger later in the morning or noon. One is also likely to over eat, thereby creating room for obesity or being overweight because calories consumed might not be used for the activities of the day. Obesity and overweight is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and renal diseases.”
The nutritionist added that an ideal breakfast should include cereal or porridge, fruit juice, egg or any other proteinous food. Onyedinma warned parents to stop the habit of giving their children junks as breakfast before going to school, saying it would not help their cognitive functions.
“Junk foods usually have high sugar, fat and salt content. Giving children junk foods might affect their concentration in school, thereby leading to poor learning. Junks have a high content of simple sugars that are easily broken down and used up, leaving the brain with little or no sugar to function as the day progresses. This leads to poor learning and concentration at school.
“Junk Increase risk of obesity due to its high fat and sugar content; it usually lacks essential vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal brain growth and function. The risk of tooth decay is higher when kids consume sugary junk foods.
The Consultant Paediatrician urged parents to help their children prepare a healthy breakfast as skipping it might affect their academic performance.
She said, “A healthy breakfast is important for good cognition in schoolchildren. This is because when kids skip breakfasts, they get hungry at school and this adversely affects their learning ability, concentration, and overall academic performance. Studies have found that consistently hungry children are more likely to repeat a class in school. Overall, for children to thrive, they must eat breakfast regularly and very importantly, breakfast must be a healthy one as junk does not positively improve academic achievement.
“An ideal healthy breakfast should be nutrient-dense and rich in fibre. It should have proteins such as egg, milk, yoghurt, beans as well as carbohydrates rich in fibre such as whole-grain cereals which are better than processed grains. Also, it should include a healthy portion of fruits and vegetables which provide more fibre, with essential vitamins and minerals,” Onyedinma said.
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