New research has bolstered evidence supporting the adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
The study conducted in Spain and published in JACC showed that those who consume less than 5% of their daily calorie intake for breakfast may have double the risk of subclinical atherosclerosis compared with people who have a high-energy breakfast that contributes to more than 20% of total energy intake.
“People who regularly skip breakfast likely have an overall unhealthy lifestyle,” said study author Valentin Fuster, director of Mount Sinai Heart and editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
“This study provides evidence that this is one bad habit people can proactively change to reduce their risk for heart disease.”
Speaking to the limbic about the study Ms Charlene Grosse, Accredited Practising Dietitian and Spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia said regularly skipping breakfast has longer-term impacts on health, including weight.
“Breakfast is an important meal, providing the opportunity to receive key nutrients like B vitamins, folate, iron and fibre. Research tells us people who eat breakfast have a lower BMI and are less likely to be overweight than those who skip it.
“This cross sectional study can only provide further suggestion towards current findings, as the study design does not allow cause and effect of skipping breakfast and atherosclerosis to be concluded.”
She added that only 3% of the participants involved in the study reported skipping breakfast, which may have amplified the results.
The study was based on 4,050 middle-aged office workers in Spain. Participants were followed for six years.