Feature

Health scare of the week: The peril of skipping breakfast

New research suggests that people who miss breakfast may be endangering their hearts.

Nearly one in five adults in the U.S. say they frequently miss breakfast, and new research suggests they may be endangering their hearts. Harvard School of Public Health researchers interviewed nearly 27,000 middle-aged and older men about their eating habits, and then tracked their health for 16 years. They found that those who regularly skipped breakfast were nearly 30 percent more likely to have a heart attack or to die from heart disease in that period than those who didn’t—regardless of whether they exercised, smoked, or overate. Researchers say skipping breakfast may stress the body in ways that raise blood pressure and the likelihood of diabetes; they say eating erratically can throw circadian rhythms out of whack, making our bodies less efficient at processing food and increasing the risk of obesity and heart disease. Previous research has shown that people who eat late at night have a 55 percent higher risk of heart disease. “Eat in the morning when you wake up, preferably within an hour,” study author Leah Cahill tells BBCNews.com. “Something is better than nothing, but it’s always better to have something healthy and balanced.’’

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