Skipping breakfast ‘bad for arteries’
Skip breakfast and you and your arteries could be in poor shape, new research suggests.
A study in Spain found that people who regularly miss the first meal of the day are more at risk of the kind of artery damage that leads to heart attacks and strokes.
They are also more likely to be obese and suffering from high blood pressure and cholesterol than those who consume a sustaining breakfast.
Scientists looked at a group of 4,052 men and women from Madrid, nearly 3% of whom admitted they did not bother with breakfast.
A total of 69.4% ate low-energy breakfasts while 27.7% obtained more than a fifth of their daily calories in the morning. Evidence of artherosclerosis, or hardening and narrowing of the arteries, was seen more often in breakfast-skippers and people who started the day with a low calorie meal.
In addition, blood markers linked to heart and metabolic risk factors were more prevalent in breakfast-skippers and low-energy breakfast consumers than people who ate normal, higher calorie breakfasts.
Researcher Dr Jose Penalvo from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in the US, said: “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.”
Participants who ignored breakfast had the largest waists and highest body mass indexes.
The scientists said they could not rule out reverse causation, with obese people skipping breakfast in order to lose weight.
“Skipping breakfast a marker for a unhealthy diet”