The Data That Proves Breakfast Is The Most Important Meal Of The Day

Yes, yes. It sounds like your mother nagging. But after crunching the data of thousands of users and their meals, the Eatery app discovered the truth: Skip breakfast and you’re going to eat worse food for the rest of the day, and more of it.

Don’t scoff: Breakfast really is important. If you replace it with a cup of coffee (or nothing at all), you’ll eat worse throughout the day than if you had taken the time to pour yourself a bowl of cereal, make some eggs, or even just grab an apple. The information comes from Massive Health’s Eatery iPhone app, which allows users to take pictures of their food, rate it based on perceived healthiness, and then rate other people’s photos. Massive Health extracted its data from hundreds of thousands of users.


Did you skip breakfast today? If you did, you are probably already thinking about lunch. You’re probably pretty hungry. And so you’re going to eat a lot. In fact, you’re going to eat 4.9% more food at lunch. The longer you wait, the more you’re going to eat. Do that every day and it starts to add up:

And what will that food be? Probably something not so good for you. Eatery found that, regardless of whether or not you eat breakfast, you eat worse and worse throughout the day. Lunch is worse than breakfast, and dinner is worse than lunch (and don’t even ask about snacking):

But breakfast is a good way to mitigate that. Eat a good breakfast and you start making better food decisions for the entire day–even late into the night.

The bottom line: People who eat breakfast are 12.3% healthier throughout the day than those who don’t, and people who don’t eat breakfast eat 6.8% more food throughout the day. Still not sold? Check out the full infographic below.

About the author

Ariel Schwartz is a Senior Editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine and more.