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Breakfast - why stop at one? Add to ...

For those who rejoiced back in November when Tim Hortons extended its weekday breakfast hours until noon, it turns out the Canadian fast-food giant might not have gone far enough.

The so-called second breakfast is the latest trend for people who can’t get enough of the most important meal of the day, the Associated Press reports. “It's breakfast in stages,” said 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.”

If, like Park and Recreation’s Ron Swanson, you are a fan of all the bacon and eggs you can eat, the second breakfast sounds like the best news of the year. Sadly, however, no one is endorsing an all-day Denny’s Grand Slam diet.

Instead, the packaged food industry is counting on new lines of snack products to convince consumers that eating several breakfast-based snacks throughout the day can be a healthy option.

The NPD Group, a U.S. market research company, projects that between 2008 and 2018, there will be a 23-per-cent increase in the number of times people snack in the morning, which has left food companies salivating. And so Kraft is promoting its MilkBite granola bars (which is billed as containing the calcium equivalent of an eight-ounce glass of milk), while General Mills offers a Fiber One product line that includes brownies. This month, Quaker Oats is set to release its “Real Medley” instant oatmeal cups with dried fruit and nuts

But while grazing on home-cooked oatmeal, unsalted almonds and fresh blueberries may be better for you than eating a stack of Eggos first thing in the morning, the same benefits don’t necessarily extend to a box of granola bars – or endless refills of double doubles and Timbits. “If you reduce everything, that's fine. But that's not what we do,” Cornell University nutrition and psychology professor David Levitsky told Associated Press. “When you add in snacks, you're usually just adding calories.”

Are you a fan of second breakfasts? Do you believe they can be healthy?

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