Skip to content

    Diabetes Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Breakfast Reduces Diabetes, Heart Disease

    Morning Meal May Reduce Obesity, Other Health Risks By 50%
    By
    WebMD Health News

    March 6, 2003 -- Mom was right in saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Researchers report that breakfast-eaters are far less likely to be obese or have diabetes or heart disease.

    A daily breakfast may reduce the risk of becoming obese or developing signs that can lead to diabetes -- called insulin resistance syndrome -- by 35% to 50% compared with skipping the morning meal, say researchers. The study has tracked for 10 years the dietary habits of more than 2,900 Americans between ages 18 and 30 who live in four U.S. cities.

    Insulin resistance syndrome is a metabolic disorder in which the body doesn't use blood sugar (glucose), efficiently, significantly boosting the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. This syndrome is characterized by a combination of several factors, including obesity, high amounts of abdominal fat, high blood pressure, and elevated blood sugar or insulin levels. It can elevate triglycerides and reduce levels of "good" HDL cholesterol.

    "The take-home message of this particular finding suggests that if you're trying to control or lose weight and lower risk factors of heart disease, not eating breakfast is not a good option," says researcher Linda Van Horn, PhD, MPH, RN, of Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. "Unlike what most people may think, in trying to lose weight by cutting out foods, calories, and meals ... people who have breakfast in the morning do better. At the end of the day, they wind up eating fewer calories, and less saturated fat and cholesterol and have better overall nutritional status than people who skip that meal."

    Although this finding -- presented at the American Heart Association's annual conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention -- only looked at the importance of breakfast itself, these researchers have previously investigated the best type of morning meal to protect against these health risks.

    Their recommendation: A bowl of whole-grain cereal. In a previous study, Van Horn compared whole grain cereal to other breakfast foods -- including refined "kid" cereals, breads, and other carbohydrates typically consumed for breakfast. "Whole-grain cereals were the predominant food that had a positive association, whereas other foods did not," she says.

    1 | 2 | 3

    Today on WebMD

    Diabetic tools
    Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
    woman flexing muscles
    10 strength training exercises.
     
    Blood sugar test
    12 practical tips.
    Tom Hanks
    Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
     
    kenneth fujioka, md
    Video
    Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
    Article
     
    Middle aged person
    Tool
    jennie brand miller
    Video
     

    Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
    Article
    type 2 diabetes
    Slideshow
     
    food fitness planner
    Tool
    feet
    Slideshow