A new study suggests that having poor breakfast habits during childhood can increase the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders in later life.
Researchers from Lulea University in Sweden found that adolescents who started the day with a poorly balanced meal or skipped breakfast altogether were considerably more likely to develop metabolic syndrome in the future than those who ate more substantial morning meals.
Metabolic syndrome is the medical term for the co-occurrence of a group of risk factors linked with type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. These include high fasting blood sugar, a large waistline (central obesity), high blood pressure, and a low level of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.
In this latest study, researchers found an association between poor breakfast habits and future risk of metabolic syndrome after following up on a large group of adults who 27 years earlier were quizzed as teenagers on what they ate for breakfast.
After checking the adults for signs of metabolic risk factors and adjusting for socioeconomic and lifestyle factors, the team found that the rate of metabolic syndrome was 68% higher among those who reported eating an insubstantial breakfast or no breakfast at all as children, compared with adults who ate substantial breakfasts in their youth.
“Further studies are required for us to be able to understand the mechanisms involved in the connection between poor breakfast and metabolic syndromen, but our results and those of several previous studies suggest that a poor breakfast can have a negative effect on blood sugar regulatio,” lead author Maria Wennberg concluded.
The findings of the Lulea University study were published online in the journal Public Health Nutrition.

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