Skipping breakfast study, “most important” meal of the day

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Skipping breakfast study, “most important” meal of the day.

New research at the University of Iowa drives home a saying we’ve probably all heard: breakfast is the “most important” meal of the day.

The study was authored by Wei Bao, an epidemiologist at the University of Iowa, and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Bao analyzed nutrition data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, finding that people age 40-75 never ate breakfast had an 87% higher risk of death by cardiovascular disease than people who ate breakfast every day.

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“We need something to jump start our body,” said Bao. “Also, breakfast might be a good way to set our biological clock for the day.”

The study was the first of its kind to make a connection between cardiovascular health and breakfast.

“Previous studies have already shown that skipping breakfast was related to high risk of diabetes, hypertension, and lipid disorder,” said Bao.

Bao says the data provided did not provide information about the type of breakfast people ate. For example, data would be able to identify whether someone was eating something relatively less healthy, like a sugary bowl of cereal, or something more nutritious, like whole wheat toast and nonfat yogurt. He says a healthy breakfast is obviously ideal.

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At Grand Living at Indian Creek, a Cedar Rapids senior living community, executive director Adam Zanger says they provide three meals a day, cooked with natural ingredients, from scratch. He says even if someone misses the regular breakfast hours, they make sure they simple grab-and-go foods like granola bars and fruit for residents to ensure they get something for breakfast.

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“We have very active seniors,” said Zanger. “So it’s about making sure that they have fuel that they need to help them through the day. Not only for the things they have to do for the day, but also to help with that disease process.”

Dr. Bao says that is spot on.

“Eating breakfast is part of our overall healthy lifestyle,” said Bao. “Just do it!”

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