Kristyn Castaldi regularly skips breakfast, and sometimes lunch. The Quinnipiac sophomore reports passing up breakfast or lunch at least four to five times a week due to a hectic schedule.
Castaldi is one of many students in the QU community that cannot find time to make the breakfast shift at the cafeteria. Scheduling their classes in the early afternoon and later, students only begin to wake up after the last call of pancakes and eggs.
Most students can agree that the “wake up late, eat even later” idea is part of most university student mentalities, but many nutritionists and dieticians are begging students to change their ways.
“Structure your eating to include three meals a day with two or three snacks in between,” said Susan Joy Mendelsohn, a licensed psychologist and client counselor for eDiets.com. “Eating the small snacks between meals will increase your metabolism and keep blood sugar levels balanced, thus allowing you to function at optimal levels throughout the day.”
Janine Whiteson, nutritionist and author of “Get a Real Food Life,” is only too happy to agree. “If you don’t eat breakfast, you could be slowing down your metabolism by up to five percent. And you set yourself up for energy drain, mental fuzziness, and lunchtime bingeing,” she said.
Although this advice may want students waking up for an extra bowl of Captain Crunch in the morning, Professor Kenneth Kaloustian, chairperson of biomedical sciences at QU, has a different opinion.
Kaloustian argues that the concepts of breakfast, lunch, and dinner are a matter of culture. He expresses that set meals often serve more as social events, including holidays and parties, rather than periods of personal nourishment.
“One can skip breakfast, and as long as he or she acquires their daily nutrients and recommended caloric intake over a 24 hour period, can feel fine without any mental or physical problems,” said Kaloustian.
“If you lack in something on a certain day, your body takes reserves from the tissues in your body to compensate the loss.”
Kaloustian emphasized the overall importance of listening to one’s own body and eating when one is hungry, not when the clock tells us it is lunchtime.
Whether a student chooses to get up in the morning for a bagel at the Ratt, or grab a mid-day snack, Kaloustian said, it is essential that students meet their daily-required nutrients and caloric intake prescribed.