They say it’s the most important meal of the day, but many of us still choose to skip breakfast. There are plenty of excuses: not hungry, running late, not a fan of breakfast foods … the list goes on. But if you think eschewing a hearty breakfast altogether or swapping it for a mid-morning snack on the go is perfectly fine, you could be in for a rude awakening.
A new study has discovered a possible link between skipping breakfast and poor cardiovascular health.
“Skipping breakfast in the morning by itself is not the problem,” Valentin Fuster, the report’s co-author, says in an article from The Guardian. “The problem is what you eat afterwards.”
Those who consume more than 20 per cent of their daily caloric intake are more likely to have a healthy heart, the study finds. Those who regularly skip breakfast are more likely to be obese, experience issues with high blood pressure, and frequently consume alcohol. Those same people are also more likely to eat big meals at odd hours — a behaviour that Fuster believes is connected to a messed-up body clock.
Others have raised speculation about the completeness of the study and whether links can definitely be drawn between skipping breakfast and atherosclerosis, the “buildup of fatty material inside the arteries”. However, it is generally agreed that habitually skipping breakfast could serve as an indicator for high risk of heart disease in the future.
The research was conducted on more than 4,000 middle-aged bank workers with the aid of surveys and measurements of body mass index and cholesterol levels, among other tests.
It’s important to note that those who did eat a high-energy breakfast still exhibited signs of atherosclerosis; just not as much as their breakfast-skipping counterparts. The findings are only one part of an ongoing study, so more concrete evidence may be revealed in the future.