Eating breakfast may ward off obesity and diabetes

March 11, 2003 in Diabetes & Diabetes Prevention, Nutrition Topics in the News

Eating breakfast may ward off obesity and diabetes

A new study from Harvard Medical School in Boston suggests that people who eat breakfast daily may be less likely to suffer from obesity and diabetes.

In comparison to those who reported eating breakfast twice per week or less often, those reporting eating breakfast every day had 35 percent to 50 percent lower rates of developing obesity and insulin resistance syndrome.

Insulin resistance is a loss of sensitivity to insulin, the key blood-sugar-regulating hormone. This loss of sensitivity is often a precursor to diabetes.

This was true for white men and women, and black men, but not black women. Breakfast may reduce the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease by controlling appetite and thus reducing the likelihood of overeating later in the day.

There were 2,681 young adults included in the study, and they were followed for eight years. The participants, who were between 25 and 37 years old, were followed for a variety of health outcomes including insulin resistance and obesity.

In addition to breakfast frequency, the quality of breakfast also appears to be important. Whole grain breakfast cereals were associated with a reduction in risk, whereas refined grain breakfast cereals were not.

Only cereals that list a whole grain or bran first in the ingredient list or those that contain a whole grain and have at least 2 grams of fiber per serving are considered to be whole grain cereal, according to a statement from the American Heart Association.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.