Monday, May 23, 2016

The Italians and breakfast

Just reading an unexpected article in the New York Times that debunks the idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The article is written by a prominent medical specialist, Aaron Carroll. It caught my eye because I have long believed that breakfast is relatively unimportant.

My opinion regarding the breakfast question comes from a long-standing observation of the fact that Italians have little or no breakfast. At any rate, their having breakfast is irregular, and often consists of a coffee beverage and a pastry or cookies (the latter mostly for children.) Some just have coffee. The French have similar habits. Both the Italians and the French have relatively little obesity and live long lives. The Americans and Brits, known for their more abundant breakfasts, have greater health problems.

It's hard to tease out the various factors that go into better health and zero in on just one variable, such as breakfast consumption. But my own experience in Italy bears out Dr. Carroll's advice.