Eating breakfast may help prevent common cold

March 12, 2002 in Nutrition Topics in the News

Eating breakfast may help prevent common cold

According to new study from the UK, people who regularly eat breakfast may be less likely to get a cold or the flu. The study revealed that regular consumers of breakfast, especially breakfast cereal, get fewer and less severe colds than non-consumers.

The researchers studied 100 healthy students who recorded information about their physical and mental health in a diary on a weekly basis. Students who developed a cold during the study period had their temperature recorded along with other measures of the severity of their symptoms.

Nearly half of the participants developed at least one upper respiratory infection during the study period. Those with multiple illnesses, however, were more likely to report that they did not eat breakfast regularly. Students who reported more negative life events, such as bereavement and divorce, in the 12 months prior to the study also developed more illnesses than their peers.

Overall, cold and flu symptoms were associated with the study participants' not eating breakfast, as well as their feelings of stress and loneliness. Those prone to persistent anxiety also had more cold and flu symptoms.

In other findings, students who developed one or more upper respiratory infections reported a more negative mood than did their healthy peers and also exhibited slower responses to reaction tests.

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