Do you skip breakfast?
Breakfast has been a hot topic in the news this week. Research published in the American Heart Association’s scientific journal Circulation and reported on by numerous news outlets like NPR and the Los Angeles Times, demonstrates new evidence of the benefits for eating breakfast.
The research, conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health, was an analysis of 16 years of diet and health records from over 20,000 male health professionals participating in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
The study showed that compared to men who ate breakfast, men who skipped breakfast had a 27 percent higher rate of coronary heart disease (CHD).
This is important news for the roughly 20 percent of American adults who skip breakfast on a regular basis.
In the study, men who started their day with breakfast ate, on average, one more time per day than those who skipped breakfast meaning that those who skipped breakfast did not make up for that meal sometime later in the day.
But, the study also showed that there was no relationship between the total number of times of eating per day and the incidence of CHD. The timing of meal seems to be the important relationship where skipping breakfast could be directly related to metabolic effects leading to CHD.
Previous research has also demonstrated a relationship between skipping breakfast and increased risk for overweight, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
While the recommendation to eat breakfast regularly is not new and is mentioned in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, this is the first study to look at eating habits like skipping breakfast and incidence or death from coronary heart disease. It provides more understanding of how not only what we choose to eat, but when we eat it can impact our health.
The study lends credence to the importance of the affordable and achievable public health recommendation to eat breakfast regularly as a simple step in the right direction.
Besides, why would you want to skip breakfast when there are so many delicious options available to get your day started on the right foot?