Breakfast is considered to be the most important meal of the day. But if you are looking for a scientific reason to prove the popular belief, here it is.
Eating a nutritious breakfast at young age can help avoid risk of developing metabolic syndrome later in life, latest research from Sweden, reveals. Metabolic syndrome is a combination of medical disorders like obesity and high blood pressure that occurs together, increasing the risk for coronary artery disease, diabetes and stroke.
In the study, skipping breakfast or following poor morning meal habits during adolescence was associated with 68 percent higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome in adulthood.
For analysing the link, Maria Wennberg and fellow researchers from the Umea University in Sweden selected 9th grade students from the Swedish compulsory school in Luleå. The 16-year-olds completed questionnaires related to their health, socio-economic background and lifestyle. The procedure mainly concentrated on analysing the teen's breakfast habits. Researchers instructed teens to list what they ate in the morning and to specify if they skipped the morning meal.
Researchers followed the 889 participants for 27 years, collecting information at different ages, including ages 18, 21, 30 and 43. Of the total participants, 88 individuals were found following poor breakfast, either completely skipping breakfast or taking only liquids and sweets. Participants also underwent health check-ups at ages 16, 21 and 43. To analyse prevalence of metabolic syndrome at age 43, researchers measured waist circumference of the participants and sent their blood samples for testing.
Results showed a direct link between poor breakfast habits and metabolic syndrome in adulthood.
"Poor breakfast habits in adolescence predicted the metabolic syndrome in adulthood," the authors, wrote. "Of the metabolic syndrome components, poor breakfast habits in adolescence predicted central obesity and high fasting glucose in adulthood. Further research is needed to fully understand the relationship between early breakfast habits and adult metabolic syndrome."
The study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition.
Apart from these, here are some other benefits of eating a healthy breakfast at childhood, as provided by the American Dietetic Association:
- Breakfast helps meet the daily nutrients required for a healthy growth
- It can help improve concentration and physical activity
- Following a healthy morning meal habit helps enhance problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination
- A nutritious breakfast can also help improve alertness, creativity
- Kids who eat breakfast are less likely to miss school