Skipping Breakfast Linked to Higher Risk of Clogged Arteries

U.S. breakfast

New research has found that middle-aged people face a higher risk of clogged arteries when skipping breakfast than those who enjoy their morning meal.

Researchers found that there is an association between the habit of having a hearty breakfast and a lower risk of building up plaque in heart arteries. Plaque is a fat or calcium deposit on arteries’ walls which can prompt them to stiffen and narrow.

This medical condition, dubbed atherosclerosis, can lead to strokes, heart disease, and other cardiovascular conditions. Nevertheless, the new study did not find a cause-and-effect association between skipping breakfast and damaged arteries.

Lead author Jose Penalvo underlined that forgoing the morning meal does not automatically lead to plaques, but skipping breakfast is strongly associated with a higher risk of atherosclerosis.

For many young and middle-aged adults, skipping breakfast is a bad habit they’d like to get rid of. When one skips breakfast, they tend to eat a lot more throughout the day and especially unhealthy food like convenience or fast foods.

Penalvo warned that skipping morning meals can negatively affect the hormones in charge of regulating appetite which in time leads to weight gain or even obesity. The bad habit also has a negative effect on the levels of blood sugar and insulin which ups the risk of type 2 diabetes in the long run.

The Research

Past studies have shown that those who eat breakfast on a daily basis are at a lower risk of gaining weight, developing diabetes, or a heart condition. The latest research tried to prove the association via objective testing.

Study authors screened volunteers with ultrasound to spot any emerging atherosclerosis. Scientists looked for early signs of plaque, which are not tied to any symptoms.

The research involved over 4,000 people aged 40 to 54. Of these, 3 percent skipped breakfast on a regular basis and 27 percent had a hearty morning meal every day. Breakfast fans consumed more than a fifth of their daily calories in the morning. Most participants (70 percent) enjoyed a low-calorie morning meal.

The first group had a 75 percent risk of developing atherosclerosis, those who ate a hearty breakfast had a 57 percent risk, while the fans of light morning meals had a 67 percent risk.
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