Healthy Breakfast Eaters Are Thinner, Healthier

March 2017

Eating a healthy breakfast has beneficial effects on appetite, insulin in the blood, and energy metabolism. An 8-year study of 2,059 men and women (part of the CARDIA study) looked at breakfast habits and risk of developing obesity or insulin resistance syndrome (a precursor to diabetes).Over the 8 years, white men who ate breakfast daily were 39% less likely to become obese, and 37% less likely to develop insulin resistance syndrome compared to those who didn’t eat breakfast regularly. White women were 55% less likely to become obese and 53% less likely to develop insulin resistance syndrome if they ate breakfast daily. These amazing reductions in risk of obesity and insulin resistance include adjusting for exercise patterns, smoking, alcohol use, and demographic data. Several studies have found similar benefits. One study reports that missing breakfast was associated with a fourfold increase in the risk of obesity. Researchers who monitored the 3,000 participants in the National Weight Control Registry (NHCR) discovered that nearly 80% of them ate breakfast every day as part of their routine to stay slender. Of those who ate breakfast, 60% said they always or usually ate a bowl of cereal.


Whole-grain cereal

In addition to eating breakfast daily, it’s also important to eat a healthful breakfast. For example, whole-grain breakfast cereals were associated with a reduction in insulin resistance, whereas refined cereals were not. In another study, African Americans who ate high-fiber breakfasts, such as oatmeal, weighed 5% less than those who didn’t. Data from another study, the Nielsen’s National Eating Trends Survey, show that women who were frequent cereal eaters (those eating cereal more than 7 times in a 2-week period) weighed about 8 pounds less on average than women eating cereal infrequently or not at all.

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