A new US study has shown that those people who eat breakfast regularly have a lower risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The researchers found from the Children's Hospital in Boston that the rate of obesity and insulin resistance syndrome was 35-50 per cent lower among people who ate breakfast compared to those who frequently missed the first meal of the day. Insulin resistance syndrome is a disorder that includes obesity, high abnormal body fat and high blood pressure. People with the syndrome also often have low levels of "good" cholesterol. People with the syndrome are unable to process glucose efficiently and have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes as well as heart disease.
The study assessed the breakfast habits and risk factors for heart disease among 1,198 black and 1,633 white participants between 1992 and 2000. Among the participants, 47 per cent of whites and 22 per cent of blacks reported that they had breakfast daily. Lead researcher Mark Pereira said that eating breakfast may have a beneficial effect on appetite, insulin resistance and energy metabolism as filling the stomach in the morning might help people control their hunger throughout the day so they might be less likely to overeat in the morning or at lunch. There could also be a hormonal link to these effects as insulin controls blood sugar and blood sugar level is related to how hungry or energetic a person feels. The researchers also concluded that eating whole-grain cereal each day was associated with a 15 per cent reduction in risk for the insulin resistance syndrome.