Skipping breakfast is harmful

Friday, 23 January 2015

Breakfast skipping occurs regularly among workers in Malaysia. The reasons could be busy and have no time to prepare breakfast. There are many definitions for ‘breakfast skipping’. It includes; 1) skip breakfast at least one time per week 2) skip breakfast at least six times per week 3) rarely or never eat breakfast, or eat breakfast less or 2 days per week 4) usually skip breakfast, or never or almost never eat breakfast 5) no breakfast on the day of the survey, dietary recall or food record 6) not eating a morning meal at home.

The habit of breakfast skipping can give negative effects to our health such as elevated blood pressure, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia. Besides, breakfast skipping can elevate the hormone known as cortisol which can increase the risk of metabolic dysfunction. The long term of increasing of cortisol, the body may suffer with hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, abdominal obesity and hypertension. But, previous study had shown the lowering of LDL in people with breakfast skipping.

The breakfast skipping may cause decreased energy intake and lead undernutrition. The proposed energy for each breakfast meal is 15% - 25% of total daily energy. The miss of this energy without replacement everyday is causing energy insufficiency for the day. However, contradiction may happen if people take more energy to replace the breakfast energy. Breakfast skipping cause people to feel more hunger and people tend to eat more during lunch.

In a previous cohort study, it involved 26 902 American men, 45-82 years old and follow-up had been done for 16 years. It showed 1527 men had been diagnosed with coronary heart disease. In that study, it reported than men with breakfast skipping were associated with 27% higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease compared to men who did not skip breakfast.

Breakfast is an important starter for the day especially school children for their growth. Thus, parents have to be positive role models to show the importance of breakfast. Make a simple energetic breakfast for family during workdays or busy day. During weekends, try more enjoying breakfast with family at home.

L.E. Cahill, et al., Prospective study of breakfast eating and incident coronary heart disease in a cohort of male US health professionals, Circulation 128 (4) (2013) 337–343.

O’Neil, C. E., Byrd-Bredbenner, C., Hayes, D., Jana, L., Klinger, S. E., & Stephenson-Martin, S. (2014). The role of breakfast in health: definition and criteria for a quality breakfast. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 114(12 Suppl), S8–S26. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2014.08.022

Witbracht, M., Keim, N. L., Forester, S., Widaman, A., & Laugero, K. (2014). Female breakfast skippers display a disrupted cortisol rhythm and elevated blood pressure. Physiology & Behavior, 140C, 215–221. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.12.044


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