People tell me I’m obsessive when it comes to my breakfast. To them I reply, “You should be too.” And there’s proof now that you are what you eat when it comes to your work and your career.
I have to eat something within an hour or so of when I get up in the morning or I feel light headed and not quite myself. I make a yogurt shake with a ton a fruit and wheat germ every weekday morning, and I’ve begun to force feed one to my husband when ever he’s up to guzzling it. Then around 10 am I boil an egg and have it with one piece of whole wheat toast.
It’s a routine I’ve had for a few years now and it’s served my health and my career well. OK, I’ve had career ups and downs, but I’m able to focus, work hard, and come back from job loss because I fuel the CareerDiva machine.
A researcher looked at the patterns among judges who sit on parole boards for Israeli prisons, according to an article in Discover Magazine, titled “Justice is served, but more so after lunch: how food-breaks sway the decisions of judges”:
There’s an old trope that says justice is “what the judge ate for breakfast”. It was coined by Jerome Frank, himself a judge, and it’s a powerful symbol of the legal realism movement,” the article stated, and now there’s proof there may be something to the phrase.
It’s the work of Shai Danziger from Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and summarises the results of 1,112 parole board hearings in Israeli prisons, over a ten month period. The vertical axis is the proportion of cases where the judges granted parole. The horizontal axis shows the order in which the cases were heard during the day. And the dotted lines, they represent the points where the judges went away for a morning snack and their lunch break.
The graph is dramatic. It shows that the odds that prisoners will be successfully paroled start off fairly high at around 65% and quickly plummet to nothing over a few hours. After the judges have returned from their breaks, the odds abruptly climb back up to 65%, before resuming their downward slide. A prisoner’s fate could hinge upon the point in the day when their case is heard.
Clearly, the judges seem to be feeling better, more positive after they stuff their faces.
The article goes on to state:
They can deliver different rulings in similar cases, under the influence of something as trivial as a food break.
Even the researchers don’t get it. Food is not trivial! So, get a snack now. And I don’t mean candy.
Did you read the depressing piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday on how candy breaks during the work day are killing us.
Full disclosure here: I’m not giving up my two Starbursts - or whatever colorful, chewy candy is around - at 3 pm. And, I love bacon.
Did you eat breakfast today? Do you have a 3 pm junk food addiction you want to share?