A study of 27,000 males aged between 45 and 82 over a 16-year period from 1992 found that those who regularly skipped breakfast had a 27% higher risk of a heart attack or death from coronary heart disease (CHD) than those who ate breakfast, after taking into account other factors such as weight, exercise, work stress and diet.
The study, by nutrition scientists at Harvard School of Public Health, found that skipping breakfast can lead to one or more risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes – which in turn may lead to a heart attack.
Not everyone agreed as some men who skipped breakfasts were also more likely to smoke, be employed full-time, be unmarried, less physically active and heavier drinkers of alcohol. Many of these factors are also indicators of poor health outcomes. And skipping breakfast leaves the body in a “fasting” state which temporarily raises blood pressure, and levels of insulin and cholesterol.
The study appeared in The American Heart Association journal Circulation.
The British Heart Foundation recommends having breakfast to avoid the need to snack on biscuits mid-morning (although recent research suggests the opposite – se below).
They recommend whole-grain toast, or cereals like porridge with low fat milk although not everyone would agree with that as the current thinking is that full fat milk and butter isn’t necessarily bad for you.
Additives are often put in low fat products to make them taste OK. Personally I can’t see the attraction of skimmed milk – it looks like chalky water and has no taste.
And the latest research on breakfast suggests that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. You might want to rethink that King of meals tag.