Poor Youth Breakfasts Linked To Metabolic Syndrome In Adulthood

We’ve often been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Now it appears that there’s some data to back that up. A Swedish study following up on 16 year olds after 27 years supports that claim. A study conducted by Umeå University in Sweden, published in Public Health Nutrition supports this claim.


The findings are from the Northern Swedish Cohort, which is a 27-year prospective study of more than 1,000 subjects – the breakfast study included 889 of these. All were in the ninth grade when they enrolled. Since then, they’ve had interviews and full medical exams at ages 18, 21, 30, and 43 years. The study revealed that adolescents who ate poor breakfasts displayed a higher incidence of metabolic syndrome 27 years later, compared with those who ate more substantial breakfasts.


Compared with the breakfast-eaters, the skippers and sweets-eaters had significantly higher alcohol and tobacco intake and exercised significantly less.

Metabolic syndrome is a collective term for factors that are linked to an increased risk of suffering from cardiovascular disorders. Metabolic syndrome encompasses abdominal obesity, high levels of harmful triglycerides, low levels of protective HDL (High Density Lipoprotein), high blood pressure and high fasting blood glucose levels.


The study shows that the young people who neglected to eat breakfast or ate a poor breakfast had a 68 per cent higher incidence of metabolic syndrome as adults, compared with those who had eaten more substantial breakfasts in their youth. This conclusion was drawn after taking into account socioeconomic factors and other lifestyle habits of the adolescents in question. Abdominal obesity and high levels of fasting blood glucose levels were the subcomponents which, at adult age, could be most clearly linked with poor breakfast in youth.


“Further studies are required for us to be able to understand the mechanisms involved in the connection between poor breakfast and metabolic syndrome, but our results and those of several previous studies suggest that a poor breakfast can have a negative effect on blood sugar regulation,” says Maria Wennberg, the study’s main author.

Better habits in adulthood, like exercising and eating lots of fruits and veggies, eliminated the increased risk. So the good news – in this study at least – is that bad-breakfasters are not always irredeemable.


The study has been conducted by researchers at the Family Medicine Unit within Umeå University’s Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine and has been published in the journal Public Health Nutrition.


Breakfast Frequency Reduces Development of Metabolic Risk

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, odeg0025@umn.edu.

Second Chance At Most Important Meal Of Day

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A Second Chance At The Most Important Meal Of The Day

If the Hobbits can do it, why can’t our kids? In our rushed and harried lives, too many don’t eat breakfast. Some choose to skip a meal, many do not. Feeding our children where they are every day makes sense.

The “second chance breakfast” program is designed to promote healthy living and also increase classroom attendance. It’s also an example of designing for what works, namely nourished, alert and in attendance students.

Additional Resources

There are a well developed list of resources for parents, school board members or food service professionals.

6 Healthy Habits to Start Your Day In The Right Direction

All of us get the same 24 hours each day. If you’ve ever found yourself wondering where the day went, most likely you weren’t paying attention to the day. Maybe you were running the kids around, working, going, doing, worrying or thinking  about how to get what’s next done. And we wonder where the day went. All of our day’s doings takes up the space for who we get to be in our day.

Actively creating our day, and by extension our life for ourselves is a powerful act. After all, who cares more about you than you? How we spend our mornings impacts the rest of our day. Incorporating healthy activities into your routine, (and the operative word here is – routine), gives us some easy leverage over those 24 hours.

Setting a context for being healthy dictates which actions to take. Playing the “Is It Healthy?” Game is a life long pursuit and playing is up to you.  We can use those 24 hours consciously creating our own health or choose something else. Either way it starts all over again each morning. So add a little flavor to your day and follow these 6 healthy habits to start your morning:

Eat a Nutritious Breakfast

Many people find eating breakfast unnecessary. If you are one of those people who cannot wait to get out of the house for work and just grab a quick cup of coffee and a bagel, you should try to alter that habit and prioritize the first meal of the day. Maintain the balance of your blood sugar levels by eating a healthy breakfast. This will give you theenergy that you will need to cope up with the daily mental and physical challenges. Add in supplements to your morning meal to guarantee you with the vitality you will need in boosting your energy for the day.

Play Music

The positive role that music plays in our overall health has long been known by many. There is even such a thing as music therapy which builds upon the benefits that music has to offer. However, to be able to enjoy the benefits of music, hiring a therapist is not necessary. While doing your usual morning ritual such as eating breakfast, getting dressed, or doing some exercises, try listening to music.

Stretch during a Warm Shower

Warm showers are great for loosening the muscles and inducing relaxation. While enjoying the warm water, try stretching to further help relieve tension and stress that you may be feeling. Additionally, stretches will help give your muscles a form of warm-up which you will need for moving around and doing the stuff waiting for you.

Savor Yourself with some Green Tea

Green tea not only helps you to relax, but has antioxidant properties as well. Try including a cup of tea into your morning to help relieve any stress that you may be feeling.

Keep Your Thoughts in a Journal

One great way to deal with stress is to write in a journal. When you go over the things you did, things you wish to do or your thoughts, you begin to form an increased self-awareness. In order to deal with your negative emotions, writing down your day’s events and thoughts will also help you cope up and have a better outlook with yourself as well as with your emotions.

Have a walk every morning

Though simple, walking can give various advantages to one’s health. Among the benefits of walking include stress relief, lowering of blood pressure, and minimizing health issues such as heart problems. Engaging yourself with brisk walking also makes you fit.

The key to a good quality life is starting and maintaining healthy lifestyle habits. You shouldn’t be afraid to try a new healthy routine in the morning.

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