Importance of Breakfast: Mood, Anxiety, Depression and More


I’ve been skipping breakfast a lot lately, and that hasn’t been my habit in years past. It occurred to me after reading 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris (who advocates a high protein meal in the morning) that I may be doing some legitimate harm to myself.

This study isn’t exactly my age group, but I think it might still be applicable… I’ll consider myself a student of life until I’m dead. Maybe I should consider making an effort to grab breakfast in the morning? See below:

Conducted in public schools in Philadelphia and Baltimore, the study found that increased school breakfast participation correlated with less tardiness and absence, higher math grades, and reductions in problems like depression, anxiety and hyperactivity. The researchers also found that students were more like to participate in school breakfast programs when the meals were offered free to all students, compared with programs that provided free meals to low-income youngsters while others paid for their breakfasts. [...]

They also showed greater improvement in student-reported levels of depression and anxiety and, for the Baltimore students, reduced levels of hyperactivity, as reported by teachers. (via.)


Caffeine increasing susceptibility to persuasion?


Before the attempt to change their minds, half the participants were given moderate doses of caffeine, while the other half took a placebo. Both groups were double-blinded so that neither the researchers nor the participants knew who had taken what. Then they were given six stories to read which argued against euthanasia.

When asked afterwards for their attitude to voluntary euthanasia, those who had drunk caffeine were more influenced by the persuasive message than those who’d had the placebo.

On top of this, participants were asked about their attitude towards abortion which, the experimenters guessed, would be indirectly influenced, since someone who disapproves of euthanasia is also likely to disapprove of abortion. And this is exactly what they found. The persuasive message had spread to a related idea and the effect was strongest amongst those who had consumed caffeine.

Read more of the original article to find out the “why”…