Historical Events

Lenna Cooper says that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" in the same year she creates the dietitian industry.

An article by American dietitian Lenna Cooper printed in 1917 suggested that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. The article appeared in Good Health, a magazine published by the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan, which was run by Dr John Harvey Kellogg.

Both Cooper, through her catchy saying, and Kellogg, through the invention of flaked cereal — 124 years ago today — have had a major influence on breakfast in the western world. Cooper, who was mentored by Dr Kellogg and conducted nutrition classes at his sanatorium, was influenced by Kellogg’s food philosophy. In August 1917 she wrote that “less attention is usually paid to breakfast … yet in many ways it is the most important meal of the day, because it is the meal that gets the day started”.


Dr Kellogg would have been dismayed, because he and his protege Cooper had very definite ideas about the first meal of the day. Yet before Kellogg arrived some societies had never bothered with breakfast.

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