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Skipping Breakfast – A Cause of Many Diseases

Submitted by on August 20, 2013 – 10:00 PM

BreakfastBreakfast is the most important meal of the day, but skipping it increases your chances of heart disease. According to a new study at the Harvard School of Public Health, men who regularly skip their morning breakfast may have an increased risk of heart disease. The study was followed by a larger group of American Health Professionals males aged between 16 years to 45 years. In the study of more than 26,000 men, only around 3,400 were self-reported breakfast skippers that increased chances of developing coronary heart disease.


The result showed men who did not eat breakfast had a 27 percent higher risk of heart disease than those men who ate breakfast. People eating late at night and getting up to eat after they had gone to bed also have a 55 percent increased chance of heart disease. Overall, skipping breakfast is one of the factors that might increase the risk of heart disease. Regularly skipping breakfast could disturb the normal functioning of metabolism and as well as circadian rhythm (body clock), given that act of eating plays a critical role in resetting our internal clocks that is why the timing of meals rather than frequency of meals has a bigger influence on heart health.


According to American Heart Association (AHA)’s annual conference in 2003, “Eating breakfast can actually help to reduce the risk of Type II Diabetes and cardiovascular illness. Because it stimulates proper blood sugar production and regulation, eating breakfast can help protect the heart, vital organs, digestive system and brain from damage, as well as promote longevity’’.


Not eating breakfast could be damaging your long-term health. When you skip your breakfast you can put a strain on the body, and over many years it can lead to insulin insensitivity which leads to Type II diabetes, followed by high blood pressure, which over time leads to heart diseases. Due to this it is not advisable to exclude the breakfast because it is a marker of a conscious effort to lead a healthier lifestyle.


Health related consequences of skipping breakfast tend to increase the chances of weight gain due to unhealthy snacking, high risk factors of diabetes, greater possibility of high cholesterol and high blood pressure. While work-related consequences of not having breakfast leads to less memory capacity, increased chance of restlessness, decreased alertness, tiredness or fatigue and inability to focus on tasks. Some people skip breakfast because they think it will help them to lose weight, but actually it may lead to weight gain. Missing breakfast tends to trigger the activity of the brain that prompts cravings for high calorie junk food that contains high amounts of sugar and unhealthy fats.


By not eating a healthy breakfast, you cheat yourself. People not having breakfast increase the risk of developing one or more of a risk factor while on the other hand, eating breakfast provides adults, teens and children with the energy needed for improved memory, creativity, attention, mood, behavior and academic performance. Apart from breakfast, you can keep your heart healthy by having a healthy BMI (body mass index), taking 20-30 minutes brisk walk everyday, moderating your stress level, drinking in moderation and if you smoke then quitting it. Everybody wishes to eat a good meal so always have a good breakfast and never skip it.


1-Breakfast and Heart Disease (

2-Skipping breakfast too often can put you at risk of heart disease. Daily Mail, October 26 2010

3-Smith KJ, Gall SL, McNaughton SA et al. Skipping breakfast: longitudinal associations with cardiometabolic risk factors in the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health Study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 6 2010

4- Facts and consequences (

5- Eat breakfast to avoid diabetes and more (

6-Why skipping breakfast will make you fatter and less healthy

About the Author: Aqsa Sajjad is a 3rd year medical student at Ziauddin Medical University, Pakistan. She can be reached at [email protected]

About this article: This article is competing for the JPMS International Medical Writing Contest 2013

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