McMaster University

Demystifying Medicine
Seminar Series

Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day?

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For years we’ve heard the statement that breakfast its the most important meal of the day and have lived by it. The question is who started this myth and does it really have validity? This video explores the history behind the claims made about why breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The video does not debunk or support the myth. Rather it offers insight into how one can go about making the best decisions for their own health.

— Video by Andy Fensham, Angela Gupta, Navi (Harmandeep) Dhaliwal and Viktoriya Dyubanova


  • Antonogeorgos, G., Panagiotakos, D., Papadimitrou, A., Priftis, K., Anthracopoulos, M., & Nicolaidou, P. (2011). Breakfast consumption and meal frequency interaction with childhood obesity. Pedriatic Obesity, 7, 65-72.
  • Betts, J. A., Richardson, J. D., Chowdhury, E. A., Holman, G. D., Tsintzas, K., & Thompson, D. (2014). The causal role of breakfast in energy balance and health: a randomized controlled trial in lean adults. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 100(2), 539-547.
  • Benton, D., Slater, O., & Donohoe, R. T. (2001). The influence of breakfast and a snack on psychological functioning. Physiology & Behavior, 74(4), 559-571.
  • Dhurandhar, E. J., Dawson, J., Alcorn, A., Larsen, L. H., Thomas, E. A., Cardel, M., ... & Apovian, C. M. (2014). The effectiveness of breakfast recommendations on weight loss: a randomized controlled trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 100(2), 507-513.
  • (2017). Planning Meals using Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide. Retrieved Octover 1, 2017].
  • Kamada, I., Truman, L., Bold, J., & Mortimore, D. (2011). The impact of breakfast in metabolic and digestive health. Gastroenterology and Hepatology From Bed to Bench, 4(2), 76.
  • Rampersaud, G. C., Pereira, M. A., Girard, B. L., Adams, J., & Metzl, J. D. (2005). Breakfast habits, nutritional status, body weight, and academic performance in children and adolescents. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 105(5), 743-760.
  • Resnicow, K. (1991). The relationship between breakfast habits and plasma cholesterol levels in schoolchildren. Journal of School Health, 61(2), 81-85.
  • Rogers, P. J. (2016). Breakfast: how important is it really? Public Health Nutrition, 19(9), 1718.
  • Spence, C. (2017). Breakfast: The most important meal of the day? International Journal of
    Gastronomy and Food Science, 8, 1-6.
  • Stanton Jr, J. L., & Keast, D. R. (1989). Serum cholesterol, fat intake, and breakfast consumption in the United States adult population. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 8(6), 567-572.