You better think twice before skipping breakfast again

Photo by Glen Carrie/Unsplash

Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day. Consuming a healthy breakfast has wide-ranging benefits on the human body, including supporting the body’s metabolism, better brain health, improved mental alertness, muscle mass maintenance, and improved digestion.

To uncover insights into the attitudes asnd habits on breakfast consumption among Asia Pacific consumers, Herbalife Nutrition conducted a healthy breakfast survey with 5,504 people across 11 markets in the region, including 500 respondents from the Philippines. Here are some of the key findings from the survey in the Philippines as well as thoughts from nutrition advisory board member Dr. Chin-Kun Wang.

Most Important Meal of the Day
  • 86 percent said breakfast is their most important meal of the day
  • 11 percent said lunch is their most important meal of the day
  • 2 percent said dinner is their most important meal of the day
Breakfast Habits of Filipino Consumers
  • 84 percent consume breakfast at home
  • 10 percent consume breakfast at work
  • 4 percent consume breakfast on the way to work
  • 2 percent do not eat breakfast
Obstacles in Eating Breakfast Daily
  • 44 percent cited lack of time
  • 30 percent said they don’t feel hungry in the morning
  • 18 percent said they are trying to maintain their weight
  • 12 percent said they can fulfill their calorie intake later in the day
  • 11 percent said their current consumption level is good enough
Benefits of Eating Breakfast
  • 99 percent said it gives them energy in the morning
  • 96 percent said it contributes to personal wellbeing
  • 95 percent said it helps them maintain their weight

During the media engagement of his Asia Pacific Wellness Tour in Manila, Dr. Wang said that without breakfast, “you cannot regulate hunger. You will eat a lot during lunch. The absorption is very high without breakfast. So this is a problem.” But fortunately, in the Philippines, the conditions are a little better when compared with neighboring countries like Malaysia.

“In other countries like Malaysia, they are facing very serious overweight and obesity problems. They usually don’t have breakfast but they have an extra meal after dinner. This is a big problem.”

Filipinos can breathe a sigh of relief after Dr. Wang presented the summary of key insights among majority of Filipino respondents. Eighty-six percent of respondents considered breakfast as the most important meal of the day (“I can say congratulations here,” says Dr. Wang) and 99 percent of them believe that it gives them energy in the morning.

Dr. Wang said that without breakfast, “you cannot regulate hunger. You will eat a lot during lunch. The absorption is very high without breakfast. So this is a problem.”

But part of the weak case against the Filipino breakfast habit is that many cite a lack of time as the primary obstacle to not having breakfast every morning. Furthermore, while protein is considered to be the most important nutrient in their breakfast, carbohydrates still comprise most of their breakfast.

So how can you make eating a healthy breakfast a daily habit? There are several key strategies. First, wake up 15 minutes earlier to prepare a quick breakfast. The change in lifestyle not only allows you to make a meal but also conditions to body to get ready for the day ahead. Another game plan you can follow is, well, follow the 4-3-3 principle to maintain optimal health. This means 40 percent of calories should come from carbohydrates, 30 percent from protein, and 30 percent from fats along with 25 grams of fiber. Lastly, get family and friends to join you. Sometimes, having good company can make a world of difference.