Skipping breakfast also results in weight gain for the child, says specialist researcher from the National Institute of Health and Welfare THL.

unnamed (3)A Swedish study confirms the belief that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Researchers from Ume? University reported in the scientific journal Public Health Nutrition that skipping breakfast during childhood as well as bad breakfast habits at an early age significantly increase the risk of a metabolic syndrome at adulthood that may lead to cardiovascular disease.


The Swedish study followed a certain group of test people for 27 years from child- to adulthood. In the beginning of the study the children’s breakfast habits were defined, and as the study drew to a close the correlation of breakfast habits with the metabolic syndrome were researched.

Those who did not eat a proper breakfast as children, or skipped it entirely, had a 68 per cent higher likelihood of being diagnosed with the syndrome.

The metabolic syndrome includes waist abdominal obesity, high concentration of triglyceride in blood, low levels of HDL cholesterol in blood, high blood pressure and increased blood sugar as well as insulin resistance. If three or more criteria are diagnosed it is a case of the metabolic syndrome that strongly indicates cardiovascular diseases later on.

Researchers state that the significance of breakfast in the risk of the metabolic syndrome is explained mostly by the regulation of blood sugar. They do remind that the relationship between the metabolic syndrome and breakfast is still partly vague in terms of physiological causation.

Direct correlation to weight gain

Specialist researcher Marja-Leena Ovaskainen from the National Institute of Health and Welfare states that Finnish studies have also included direct observations of a connection between breakfast and gaining weight, in particular.

Children who do not eat breakfast are observed to be more prone to weight gain. A versatile breakfast is important in regulating blood sugar, as it controls rapid increases of blood sugar throughout the day.

“More indirectly, breakfast habits are connected to children’s health so that children who skip breakfast or eat breakfasts low in nutrition tend to eat more poorly in other ways too. They often munch on sugary snacks during the day, evening and even before night. Because of this they will not be hungry in the morning,” Ovaskainen says.

Porridge rich in fibre and whole grain bread make up a good basis for breakfast according to Ovaskainen.

“Due to its volume porridge is also very filling and keeps hunger at bay for longer periods of time. It is also good to include fresh vegetables and fruit in children’s breakfasts, low fat cold cuts and non-fat milk or other kinds of sugar-free drinks.”



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