Assalamualaikum and a very good morning to the headmaster of Sekolah Rendah Telok Gong, Puan Ani, teachers, parents and students of Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Telok Gong . I am so happy when I received an invitation from our headmaster for the Entreprenuer Day. I believe this is a good opportunity for me to come to this school again because I cannot even remember when was the last time I came here. I can see a lot of changes and improvement on the facilities and infrastructure of the school compared to 16 years ago when I was in Standard 6. I started to recall all the memories I had when I was a student here.
Today, I was invited by the headmaster to give a talk on having a healthy lifestyle. For your information, I am working as a dietitian in a private hospital. I always give talk and educate people on the importance of healthy eating and good nutrition. Before I tell you the title for my speech, please raise your hand for those you have taken their breakfast today. Okay, I can see most of you had your breakfast, very good. If any of you have not taken your breakfast, I am pretty sure you will not miss taking your breakfast again after this.
My title for the speech today is “Why Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day”. However, what I want to highlight here, you should start your day with healthy and nutritious food. Before that, I would like to briefly explain what it means by healthy and nutritious breakfast. Your food for the morning meal should include all of these nutrients such as iron, calcium, vitamins, protein and fibre. Avoid processed and sugary food and eat more vegetable and fruits which content all the nutrition that your body need. You need good nutrition as a child because it is necessary for your health and growth. I would like to ask parents to pay attention when it comes to choosing breakfast foods. Please make sure that your children get foods that are rich in whole grains, fiber, and protein while low in added sugar.
Perhaps most of you have heard this before, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” This is a well-known phrase, but do you know why is it breakfast is emphasis to be so important meal of the day? I am sure your parents always asked you to take your breakfast before you come to school so that you can grow bigger, stronger and smarter. Well, there are many reasons of why breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day.
The first reason why breakfast is the most important meal of the day is comes from the word breakfast itself because your body needs energy to start the day which you can get it from the morning meal. The straight forward and understandable meaning that comes from the word breakfast is breaking the prior night fast where you did not eat during your sleep time. After 8 to 10 hours of sleeping at night, our body needs to refuel for the day ahead in the next morning. Do you know that our body loses about 80% of energy reserves after long hours of sleep? Hence, a good breakfast is important to start our day after we wake up in the morning. A study found that the energy and even the mood for kids between the age of 7 to 18 can drop if they don’t take their breakfast. That is the reason why our body needs a nutritious breakfast in order for us to be more energetic. For an example, imagine your body is a car, you cannot start the engine with an empty tank, you need to have enough fuel. Same goes with your body and brain, you need to start the day by eating nutritious food to generate energy.
Nutritionist advices to take your breakfast within two hours after you wake up in the morning. Like what I said before, breakfast is a great way to refueling our body. Children who eat breakfast tend to eat healthier overall and are more likely to participate in physical activities. If you find yourself feeling weak during the day, it is probably because you forget to take your breakfast. Breakfast gives your body the chance to get nutrients like iron, calcium, vitamins, protein and fibre, and it is advised that you add these to your breakfast meal to avoid missing it later in the day.
Next, the second reason of why breakfast is the most important meal of the day is taking nutritious breakfast can helps you to lose some weight or maintain your ideal weight. Some people have a misconception and think that if they skip breakfast, it will help them in losing weight. It is a big NO if you want to lose some weight! You have to kick start your metabolism by taking breakfast and as a result, your body will burn more calories throughout the day. Eventually, it helps you to lose weight. That is why you should not skip the most important meal of the day because this will make you prone to extremely hunger later on in the day.
According to a study published in “Public Health Nutrition”, children who skipped breakfast in the morning were more likely to overeat and have a lower diet quality compared to children who ate breakfast everyday. As a result, it has the tendency of increasing in IBM measurement. This is supported by the study from National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, those who skip their breakfast are predicted to have increase in Body Mass Index (IBM) in young adulthood. Thus, nutritious breakfast reduces risk for overeating and cravings later in the day.
Another additional fact, the third reason of why breakfast is the most important meal of the day is morning meal helps in improving your concentration and productivity. Breakfast is necessary not only for your body but for the brain as well. I am sure all the students here want to perform well in curriculum as well as co-curriculum. In order to do better in academic and non-academic, you have to make sure that you take your healthy breakfast to start the day. It’s particularly important for your brain since you need sugar or glucose to be able to study and concentrate. If you skip your breakfast, you will not have enough energy and you will feel tired and not active. Based on a study by Littlecott et al, there is a positive association between breakfast consumption and educational performance in children of 9 to 11 years old.
Those who take morning meal are more likely to have better concentration, problem solving skills and better coordination than those who did not take their breakfast. The reason is simple, if you did not take morning meal, you will not be able to focus and think properly because your stomach is empty. According to Harald Seitz from German Federal Nutrition Centre, those who did not take breakfast before leaving their house in the morning tend to have trouble focusing. Studies have shown that eating a meal first thing in the morning has a positive influence on cognitive performance in school, especially on task-oriented behaviors.
In addition, the fourth reason is eating breakfast has been related with a lower incidence of heart disease. You probably do not take this seriously since you are still young and healthy. However, since you are still young, it is important for you to start from now at young age. Your eating habit now will affect you in 15 to 20 years time. Referring to an article in New York Post by Charlotte Willis, a study found in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology shows that those who did not take their breakfast regularly is associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis, or the hardening and narrowing of arteries due to a build-up of plaque. Children, it sounds very hard to understand right? It is okay, you will learn all this later in the secondary school about our body, heart and all other.
Based on a study by Leah E. Cahill from Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, skipping breakfast may lead to one or more risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, which may in turn lead to a heart attack over time. There are also a few more researches done to study the relationship between breakfast consumption and the risk of heart disease. It is easy and simple to understand that if you eat right for your first meal of the day, you are actually reducing the risk or chance of getting heart disease.
Last but not least, the fifth reason of why I said breakfast is important because if you take breakfast every morning, you will tend to have better eating habits. People who have a healthy breakfast tend to follow healthy eating habits. This is because breakfast is the best chance to eat foods that one may not eat during the rest of the day. Most of the healthy breakfast foods such as grains, seeds and dried fruit provide vitamins and mineral that hard to find in other foods.
Incorporating many types of healthy foods into your breakfast is an easy way to ensure your meal provides adequate energy and a healthy balance of nutrients, such as protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. As I said before, healthy breakfast can reduce the risk of heart disease because you will take all the good nutrition as a start of the day. Again, I need the parents to study and learn more on what food is good for your children based on their physical activities.
In conclusion, there really are a number of reasons as to why breakfast should be considered the most important meal of the day. It is actually affect our health, well-being, and cognitive performance. As what I have tell you about the importance of breakfast, it can be summarize that one; taking healthy breakfast everyday can provides you with energy, two; helps you to lose weight, three; breakfast can help you to perform better, four; breakfast is a good way to prevent heart disease and five; you are tend to eat healthy when you take breakfast. There are a lot of researches done and prior studies have shown that people who take their breakfast are less likely to be obese, have diabetes or heart disease. I really hope what you have listen today give you more understanding on the importance of breakfast. Therefore, boys and girls, do listen to your mom and eat your breakfast.