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It’s no mystery why so many people routinely skip breakfast: bad timing. It comes at a time when folks can be more occupied with matters of grooming, attire and otherwise making themselves presentable for a new day. However, studies conducted both in the United States and internationally have shown that skipping breakfast can affect learning, memory and physical well-being. Students who skip breakfast are not as efficient at selecting critical information for problem-solving as their peers who have had breakfast. For schoolchildren, skipping breakfast diminishes the ability to recall and use newly acquired information, verbal fluency, and control of attention, according to Ernesto Pollitt, a UC Davis professor of pediatrics whose research focuses on the influence of breakfast on mental and physical performance. Skipping breakfast can impair thinking in adults, also. For both children and adults, a simple bowl of cereal with milk goes a long way toward providing a sufficiently nutritious start to the day. Green-Burgeson recommends choosing a cereal that’s low in sugar — less than five grams per serving — and using nonfat or one percent milk. Frederick Hirshburg, a pediatrician at UC Davis Medical Group, Carmichael, says that babies and other preschoolers rarely skip breakfast because “they’re usually the hungriest at the beginning of the day. Breakfast then becomes more of a “learned experience” than a response to a biological need, Hirshburg says.