... "Without glucose," explains Terrill Bravender, professor of
pediatrics at Duke University, "our brain simply doesn't operate as
well. People have difficulty understanding new information, [they have
a] problem with visual and spatial understanding, and they don't
remember things as well."
Dozens of studies from as far back as the 1950s have consistently
shown that children who eat breakfast perform better academically than
those who don't. ...
[NPR] A Better Breakfast Can Boost a Child's Brainpower
I've always thought it was BS as I was never really used to (and I'm still not) have a other thing than a cup of coffee for breakfast (if anything at all), and I never thought of myself as particularly weak, indisposed, whatever. But I've once heard a very convincing and detailed explanation of why breakfast is very important from a college biology teacher, but unfortunately I can't remember anything. Maybe partly because of hardly ever having breakfast... :-/
I think that if you have a reasonable good meal before going to bed it must have a similar effect though, it just seems intuitive, but perhaps it's one of those things where intuition is wrong.
@DJClayworth - I think the list isn't ordered in "severity", so that you'd place something like, "being hit by a hammer right in the temple" in the top 1, (being a boxer in 2), but it is probably aiming at loosely order the most common ways that people who don't indulge in particularly harmful habits damage their brains.