It’s official: we are well on our way to becoming hobbits. It wasn’t so long ago that Taco Bell made a run at incorporating “Fourth Meal” into the public lexicon, encouraging dinner after supper to curb those late night cravings. Now it seems that we’re expanding our collective eating schedule even more. According to a new report, the hot new trend in the American diet is splitting one’s morning meals into stages. In other words: Second Breakfast.
"It's breakfast in stages," says Liz Sloan, president of Sloan Trends, a food industry consulting group. "They'll eat something at home, then stop at Starbucks or a convenience store for coffee and maybe a little snack."
Naturally, big food companies are completely on board for any trend that will encourage consumers to consume more of what they’re producing – but as the report points out, this particular trend has presented a unique marketing challenge. Unlike hobbits, our own take on Second Breakfast isn’t a full-on meal affair (yet) – rather, the trend seems to be toward snacks. But not just any chips or candy bars will do. Second Breakfast fans are reportedly more interested in nutritious snacks that can be easily consumed on the go and won’t slow them down.
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In keeping with the trend, brands have begun to launch “healthful” breakfast-themed snack foods – Kraft has recently released MilkBite granola bars, Quaker Oats is preparing to launch “Real Medley” fruit and nut-packed instant oatmeal cups, and Greek yogurt is everywhere. Still, some nutritionists are worried that all these extra meals are nothing more than extra fat:
David Levitsky, a professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell University, says the problem is that people often wind up consuming more calories when they switch to eating smaller meals throughout the day.
"If you reduce everything, that's fine. But that's not what we do," Levitsky says. "When you add in snacks, you're usually just adding calories."
Translation: if you’ve already eaten a full breakfast (I.E. if you’ve just stuffed yourself senseless for National Pancake Day), it’s probably best to resist your snack cravings until lunch. But if your breakfast is simply approaching more of a grazing pattern, then feel free to Baggins it up – and given the way a day can seem to drag in the couple of hours leading up to lunch, this way of eating may actually be a better way to go. See you at Elevensees!
[SOURCE: Huffington Post]