A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that people who skip breakfast -- often, ironically, in an attempt to lose weight -- tended to eat about 100 calories more over the course of a day than individuals who did eat breakfast. The negative effects of skipping breakfast may also include an increased risk of heart disease.
Skipping breakfast may put you on the fast track to weight gain and heart disease, according to a new study.
Researchers found that healthy women who skipped breakfast for two weeks ate more during the rest of the day, developed higher "bad" LDL cholesterol (search) levels, and were less sensitive to insulin (search) than women who ate breakfast every day.
High LDL cholesterol levels and impaired insulin sensitivity are both major risk factors for heart disease (search).
Although previous studies on the effects of eating or skipping breakfast in obese people may have produced conflicting results, researchers say the findings of this study show that skipping breakfast may lead to weight gain as well as increase the risk of heart disease in healthy people over time.
In the study, which appears in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers examined the effects of eating or skipping breakfast on calories eaten and burned throughout the day as well as circulating insulin, glucose (search), and cholesterol (search) levels in 10 healthy women of normal weight.
For two weeks, the women ate a breakfast consisting of a bowl of whole-grain cereal (Bran Flakes from Kellogg's) with 2 percent milk between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. and then had a midmorning snack of a candy bar (Kit Kat from Nestle) between 10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
The women then ate two additional meals and snacks at predetermined times every day and kept records of what they ate.
The results showed that when the women ate breakfast
, they ate about 100 fewer calories per day (an average of 1,665 calories per day vs. 1,756 calories per day over a three-day measurement period).
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