Skipping breakfast could mean a sure way to become obese, it looks like.
Taiwanese researchers led by Dr P-S Tsai of the Taipei Medical University investigated the associations of breakfast skipping with obesity and health-related quality of life (QOL). They also tested the hypothesis that there is a dose-dependent relationship between frequency of breakfast consumption and prevalence of obesity.
Their cross-section study used a national representative sample from the 2005 Taiwan National Health Interview Survey. Breakfast skippers were defined as those who ate breakfast about once a week or less often and those who never ate breakfast. Health-related QOL was assessed using the Medical Outcome Studies Health Survey. Logistic regression was used to examine the odds ratio of obesity and associated 95% confidence intervals (CIs) in breakfast skippers compared with breakfast eaters.
The odds ratio of obesity and also of developing obesity in breakfast skippers was high, controlling for age, sex, marital status, educational level, monthly income, smoking, alcohol, betel nut chewing and exercise habit.
They also found that the prevalence rate of obesity decreased as the frequency of breakfast consumption increased.
Breakfast skippers had significantly worse health-related QOL than breakfast eaters.
Moreover, breakfast skippers had significantly lower scores in such areas as general health perceptions, vitality, social functioning , emotional role and mental health.
The findings from this study add support to the potential role of breakfast eating in obesity prevention, the researchers noted in their article published in the journal Obesity.