Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Another Reason To Eat Breakfast

People who reported skipping breakfast during childhood and adulthood had more risk factors for heart disease than their peers who ate morning meals throughout their lives, Dr. Kylie J. Smith of the University of Tasmania and her colleagues found.

Some studies have found that people who don't eat breakfast tend to have worse eating behaviors and are less active than people who do, while some research has linked skipping breakfast with weight gain. There is also some evidence that people who don't eat in the morning are more prone to high cholesterol.

To investigate the long-term effects of not eating breakfast, Dr. Smith and her team analyzed data from the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health study, in which participants were surveyed in 1985, when they were 9 to 15 years old, and again in 2004-2005.

According to a report published online October 6th in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, children were categorized as not eating breakfast if they said they didn't eat anything before school, while adults were considered to have skipped breakfast if they didn't eat between 6 and 9 a.m.

Among nearly 2,200 study participants, about 1,400 didn't skip breakfast at either time point; 224 only skipped breakfast in childhood; 515 only skipped breakfast as adults; and 86 skipped breakfast in both childhood and adulthood.

The researchers found that people who consistently didn't eat breakfast had waists that were nearly 2 inches (or 5 centimeters) larger, on average, than people who ate breakfast as children and as adults. They also had higher insulin levels and higher levels of total and LDL cholesterol.

The researchers did not look at whether skipping breakfast had anything to do with developing cardiovascular disease, for example whether people were more likely to have heart attack or stroke. Nevertheless, the researchers conclude, "Promoting the benefits of eating breakfast could be a simple and important public health message."

Source:Am J Clin Nutr. Posted online October 6, 2010

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