A large 16-year study revealed men who reported that they skipped breakfast had a higher risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease.
The timing of meals, whether it's missing a meal in the morning or eating a meal very late at night, may cause adverse metabolic effects that lead to coronary heart disease. Even after accounting for modest differences in diet, physical activity, smoking and other lifestyle factors, the association between skipping breakfast (or eating very late at night) and coronary heart disease persisted.
Researchers analyzed food frequency questionnaire data and tracked health outcomes for 16 years (1992-2008) on 26,902 male health professionals ages 45-82. They found men who reported they skipped breakfast had a 27 percent higher risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease than those who reported they didn't.
The men who reported not eating breakfast were younger than those who did, and were more likely to be smokers, employed full time, unmarried, less physically active and drank more alcohol.
Skipping breakfast may lead to one or more risk factors, including obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes, which may in turn lead to a heart attack over time," said the study lead author from the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Mass.
The study collected comprehensive questionnaire data from the participants and accounted for many important factors such as TV watching, physical activity, sleep, diet quality, alcohol intake, medical history, BMI, and social factors like whether or not the men worked full-time, were married, saw their doctor regularly for physical exams, or smoked currently or in the past.
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