Breakfast cuts obesity, diabetes risk

They don’t call it the most important meal of the day for nothing. I’ve found that my patients who take the time to eat breakfast every day fare significantly better than people who don’t when it comes to shedding excess weight.

And according to a new study presented at the recent American Diabetes Association conference, they also have a better chance of avoiding diabetes.

Researchers analyzed seven years’ worth of data on 3,598 volunteers between 25 and 37 years old. None of them had diabetes.

At the study’s end, the participants had an average 26.7 BMI (body mass index), and reported eating breakfast 4.1 days per week. Researchers also looked at the participants’ other lifestyle habits, like alcohol use, exercise, fast food visits, etc.

But even when researchers took these other factors into account, breakfast still emerged as a strong factor in cutting diabetes risk.

For every additional day over the average that someone ate breakfast, their risk of type 2 diabetes went down 5 percent. And those who ate breakfast more than five days per week had 31 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

The researchers believe that this result is directly related to the fact that eating breakfast also helped the subjects keep their weight under control.

So do yourself a big favor, and take a few minutes every morning to eat breakfast. Just steer clear of staples like cereal, toast, muffins, etc. It doesn’t take any longer to fry an egg than it does to toast a bagel, and you’ll get a lot more nutrition from it.

“Risk of Incident Type 2 Diabetes According to Breakfast Habits,” American Diabetes Association 72nd Scientific Sessions, June 18-22, 2012