Why Do So Many People Eat the Same Breakfast Every Day?

People expect variety for lunch and dinner, but breakfast is more about utility, so they often eat the same thing every day.
People expect variety for lunch and dinner, but breakfast is more about utility, so they often eat the same thing every day.

Albert Einstein wore the same color of suit pretty much every day so he wouldn't waste time or brain power on getting dressed. Not many of us are Einsteins, but that doesn't mean we can't think like he did. According to recent research, most people aren't concerned about having variety in their breakfast choices, and instead eat the same food every morning.

While lunch and dinner are typically meals that we savor, we don't tend to think about breakfast in the same way, the researchers concluded. Breakfast food is more utilitarian, which is the most important thing when it comes to getting out of the house and having the energy to start the day. In the recent study, researchers asked 1,275 American volunteers and 2,624 French volunteers to list what they typically ate for each meal of the day. While only 9 percent of those surveyed ate the same thing for dinner twice in one week, 68 percent had the same breakfast twice.

One of the researchers believes that people are missing out by not opting for variety, at least partly because it can set a positive tone for the day. "A little bit of pleasure in the morning helps you start off the day on the right foot," said Romain Cadario, an assistant professor at Erasmus University's Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands.

Breakfast food for thought:

  • Granula, the first breakfast cereal, was introduced in 1863; to be able to chew it, you had to soak it overnight.

  • Approximately 58 percent of Americans skip breakfast at least once a week.

  • The term "continental breakfast" was coined in Britain in the 19th century to refer to any regional breakfast typically eaten in Europe ("the continent").

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    • People expect variety for lunch and dinner, but breakfast is more about utility, so they often eat the same thing every day.
      People expect variety for lunch and dinner, but breakfast is more about utility, so they often eat the same thing every day.