We’ve all heard the old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. New research suggests that skipping breakfast can lead to more than just a grumbling tummy or a case of the “hangries’’ later in the morning. A study found adults who passed on breakfast had a higher risk of heart disease-related death and stroke-related death compared with those who started each day with a meal.
According to a study published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology, skipping breakfast is linked with an increased risk of obesity, elevated cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The study involved data from 1988 to 1994 on more than 6,000 adults aged 40 to 75 who answered questions about their meals in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The researchers then looked at data about these adults’ health status through 2011 and compared how often each person ate breakfast with the mortality figures, specifically whether their death was related to cardiovascular health. Those who skipped breakfast were significantly more likely to die of cardiovascular disease.
The study’s authors stressed they found a link between skipping breakfast and the risk of early death, but they couldn’t say one causes the other. They also noted that those who skipped breakfast often had other unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking heavily, being physically inactive and not eating well.
They urged further study of the links, especially as new dieting methods such as intermittent fasting — which calls for going many hours between meals — gain popularity.