The Rational Ape

Breakfast, NOT The Most Important Meal of The Day

August 14, 2017

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is a myth, a product of clever marketing sell more breakfast cereals. US 2017 ready-to-eat cereal sales: private label $656.7 million. General Mills $496.6 million.

This myth came from a 1944 marketing campaign called “Eat a Good Breakfast–Do a Better Job” by General Foods, manufacturer of Grape Nuts, to sell more cereals. Pamphlets promoting the importance of breakfast were distributed in grocery store while radio ads proclaimed, “Nutrition experts say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”
By the 1550s this myth spread across the pond in Britain. In 1551, Thomas Wingfield stated that breakfast was essential. Thomas Cogan stated that it was unhealthy to miss breakfast in the morning. He was one of the first to claim that it was healthy for those who were not young, ill or elders to eat breakfast in 1589.