Researchers have said skipping breakfast may possibly increase the likelihood of heart disease.
According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, constantly failing to eat a healthy breakfast could lead to atherosclerosis — the hardening and narrowing of arteries due to a build-up of plaque.
To arrive at the findings, the researchers examined a total of 4,052 male and female volunteers who were free from cardiovascular or chronic kidney disease.
A computerised questionnaire was used to estimate the usual diet of the participants, and breakfast patterns were based on the percentage of total daily energy intake consumed at breakfast.
Out of the over four thousand participants, 2.9 percent skipped breakfast, 69.4 percent were low-energy breakfast consumers and 27.7 percent were breakfast consumers.
Atherosclerosis was observed more frequently among participants who skipped breakfast and was also higher in participants who consumed low-energy breakfasts compared to those who ate healthy breakfast.
Participants who skipped breakfast had the greatest waist circumference, body mass index, blood pressure, blood lipids and fasting glucose levels — and were also more likely to be hypertensive and overweight or obese.
Valentin Fuster, editor of the Journal, said: “People who regularly skip breakfast likely have an overall unhealthy lifestyle.
“This study provides evidence that this is one bad habit people can proactively change to reduce their risk for heart disease.”
According to Jose Peñalvo, senior author of the study, “Aside from the direct association with cardiovascular risk factors, skipping breakfast might serve as a marker for a general unhealthy diet or lifestyle which in turn is associated with the development and progression of atherosclerosis.
“Our findings are important for health professionals and might be used as a simple message for lifestyle-based interventions and public health strategies, as well as informing dietary recommendations and guidelines.”
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