Skipping breakfast isn’t good for your heart. That was the major finding in a new research study.
Men who don’t eat breakfast have a 27% higher risk of heart disease than men who regularly eat a meal in the morning.
Dr. John Higgins, M.D., sports cardiologist at the UT Health Science Center at Houston, is quick to point out the metrics of the study: “about 51,000 participants, a large group of males, mainly of European decent, therefore white males.”
“Not eating breakfast was associated with certain cardiovascular risk factors, including being smokers, younger, working full-time, being less physically active, and drink more alcohol,” Dr. Higgins told KTRH News, and it is the association of all those factors in conjunction with not eating breakfast that contributes most to heart disease.
Researchers are hoping to figure out why. So far it’s speculation, but they question if eating first thing in the morning kicks the body’s metabolism in high gear, or if common breakfast foods like cereal that are high in dietary fiber promote heart health.
Dr. Higgins says the study just looks at eating patterns and not what types of foods were consumed or what the participant’s eating patterns were.
“It might be lifestyle as well,” Dr. Higgins explained. “Those personality types that are trying to accomplish a lot in a short period of time, so they’re under a lot more stress, they are kind of eating on the run and often are not eating healthy types of food.”
The study found some common traits among those males who skipped breakfast. They tended to be on the young end of the scale in the survey of 51,529 men. They were generally single, inclined to smoke, and were infrequent exercisers.
The study also found that men who ate late at night have a 55% higher risk of being diagnosed with heart disease.