VASTERBOTTEN, SwedenEating breakfast has been proven beneficial to health yet again, according to a new study published in Public Health Nutrition. The research revealed that adolescents who ate poor breakfasts displayed a higher incidence of metabolic syndrome 27 years later, compared with those who ate more substantial breakfasts.
Metabolic syndrome is a collective term for factors that are linked to an increased risk of suffering from cardiovascular disorders. Metabolic syndrome encompasses abdominal obesity, high levels of harmful triglycerides, low levels of protective HDL (High Density Lipoprotein), high blood pressure and high fasting blood glucose levels.
Researchers at Umeå University asked all students completing year nine of their schooling in Luleå in 1981 (Northern Swedish Cohort) to answer questions about what they ate for breakfast. Then, 27 years later, the respondents underwent a health check where the presence of metabolic syndrome and its various subcomponents was investigated.
The study shows that the young people who neglected to eat breakfast or ate a poor breakfast had a 68% higher incidence of metabolic syndrome as adults, compared with those who had eaten more substantial breakfasts in their youth. This conclusion was drawn after taking into account socioeconomic factors and other lifestyle habits of the adolescents in question. Abdominal obesity and high levels of fasting blood glucose levels were the subcomponents which, at adult age, could be most clearly linked with poor breakfast in youth.
"Further studies are required for us to be able to understand the mechanisms involved in the connection between poor breakfast and metabolic syndrome, but our results and those of several previous studies suggest that a poor breakfast can have a negative effect on blood sugar regulation," said Maria Wennberg, the study's main author.
People who eat their largest meal at breakfast are more likely to lose weight and waist line circumference because the meal lowers levels of insulin, glucose and triglycerides throughout the day. This translates to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension and high cholesterol.