Couple Eating BreakfastEating breakfast has its health benefits. The frequency of breakfasts consumed was the main factor studied. Interestingly, the quality of the breakfast food choices consumed did not make an impact on the results.


OBJECTIVE The relation of breakfast intake frequency to metabolic health is not well studied. The aim of this study was to examine breakfast intake frequency with incidence of metabolic conditions.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We performed an analysis of 3,598 participants from the community-based Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study who were free of diabetes in the year 7 examination when breakfast and dietary habits were assessed (1992–1993) and participated in at least one of the five subsequent follow-up examinations over 18 years.

RESULTS Relative to those with infrequent breakfast consumption (0–3 days/week), participants who reported eating breakfast daily gained 1.9 kg less weight over 18 years (P = 0.001). In a Cox regression analysis, there was a stepwise decrease in risk across conditions in frequent breakfast consumers (4–6 days/week) and daily consumers.

The results for incidence of abdominal obesity, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and hypertension remained significant after adjustment for baseline measures of adiposity (waist circumference or BMI) in daily breakfast consumers. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for daily breakfast consumption were as follows:

abdominal obesity HR 0.78 (95% CI 0.66–0.91), Thumb_Diabetes_Metabolic_Syndrome_Cover

obesity 0.80 (0.67–0.96),

metabolic syndrome 0.82 (0.69–0.98), and

hypertension 0.84 (0.72–0.99).

For type 2 diabetes, the corresponding estimate was 0.81 (0.63–1.05), with a significant stepwise inverse association in black men and white men and women but no association in black women. There was no evidence of differential results for high versus low overall dietary quality.

CONCLUSIONS Daily breakfast intake is strongly associated with reduced risk of a spectrum of metabolic conditions.



  1. Mark A. Pereira, PHD1

+ Author Affiliations

  1. 1Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota

  2. 2Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois

  3. 3New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.
  1. Corresponding author: Andrew Odegaard,