"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day," is a phrase we've all heard throughout our lives. So, we all accepted that a good breakfast is critical to a good day. 

With that in mind, we've created delicious, healthy breakfasts: acai bowls, avocado toast, egg-white omelettes. We've also taken the time to create delicious, completely unhealthy breakfasts: waffles, pancakes, french toast. But when it comes down to it, why is breakfast the "most important"?

honey, peanut, blueberry, peanut butter, banana, pancake, butter, maple syrup, syrup
Amy Wilichowski

First off, let's take a look at the origins of the phrase. According to Huffpost, "[I]n many ways, the breakfast is the most important meal of the day, because it is the meal that gets the day started,” was first written by Lenna F. Cooper, in a 1917 publication of Good Health, a magazine edited by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. 

That's right. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, co-inventor of Kellogg cereal. It stands to reason that a man promoting breakfast cereal would encourage people to consume breakfast. But is there science to back up these claims?

The New York Times cites a 2013 study connecting men skipping breakfast and an increased risk for coronary heart disease, which seems like a seal-the-deal finding. 

However, the 2013 study along with several other studies that point towards the importance of breakfast, only find correlations, not necessarily causations. Considering that people more likely to eat breakfast are in a higher socioeconomic bracket and more likely to have time to focus on health, one can only assume that those skipping breakfast will be at higher risk for health issues.

Several publications on the issue are also funded by biased institutions, such as the study funded by Kellogg that concluded those who eat cereal for breakfast are usually thinner. Any study promoted and funded by the food industry is bound to be under pressure for certain results. Plus, since when is sugary cereal a good, hearty breakfast?

breakfast, whole wheat cheerios, cereal, milk
Jocelyn Hsu

In fact, in a recent study by Public Health England, children under the age of 10 in England consume half their daily intake of sugar at breakfast. If anything, an aggressively sugary and caloric breakfast is not the path to a healthy lifestyle.

Taking into account several diets and lifestyle changes when it comes to eating, specifically intermittent fasting, it shows that breakfast is not always essential to losing weight or being healthy.

Intermittent fasting is a current trend that requires you to fast for 16 hours a day, many people setting their eating window between noon and 8pm. The rules are pretty simple: you can eat whatever you want, but only in that window of time. It's low pressure and many have found weight loss success with the fad -- despite the fact that you probably are skipping breakfast when you do it. 

banana, fruit salad, strawberry, berry, sweet
Amy Wilichowski

Eating 3 meals a day has actually emerged as the social construction of our everyday work life. There's time to eat in the morning before work, midday during break, and after work at night. There are no foolproof studies that prove one meal is exponentially more helpful than the rest.

The truth of the matter is, you should eat when you're hungry. If you're anything like me, eating in the morning can be a little nauseating. But your mileage may vary; if you're hungry in the morning, eat something good for you. But don't let "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day," dictate how you eat. Listen to your body and you'll figure out how to eat best for you.