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Skipping breakfast, what are the consequences on the body?

April 19, 2021
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Skipping breakfast, what are the consequences on the body?

Is skipping breakfast good or bad? There are people who, due to lack of time or because they want to lose weight, decide not to have breakfast, maybe just a quick coffee but nothing else. Is it a healthy habit? It seems not, as emerges from several, very recent, scientific researches that highlight that skipping breakfast can also increase the risk of depression. The studies we refer to have been published in recent months, such as the work of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston (Bonnet et al, Obesity, 2020), the study performed by an Iranian team and published in the journal Nutritional neuroscience (Zahedi et al, Nutr Neurosci, 2020) and that of a Thai team in the journal Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity - Targets and Therapy (Pengpid et al, Diabetes Metab Syndr Obes., 2020).

Skipping breakfast and raising LDL cholesterol

The Harvard University study collected data from previous studies allowing researchers to analyze the lifestyle, diet and health of 425 people, all adults. Comparing those who, as a habit, skip breakfast, and those who have breakfast, what emerged is that skipping breakfast, as the only benefit, leads to a very modest weight loss, on average half a kilo in four weeks. However, LDL cholesterol, the so-called bad cholesterol, results increased by almost 10 mg / dL in those who decide to skip breakfast. Not only that, it also emerged that, in general, those who eat breakfast have more energy available during the day than those who skip breakfast.

Skipping breakfast, anxiety and depression

The Iranian study instead investigated the effects of breakfast on the mental state of the people tested, this time a very large sample including children aged 6 up to people over 65, for a total of nearly 400,000 people. Researchers have observed that skipping breakfast is linked to an increased risk of developing depression, feeling tired, stressed and fatigued. In adolescents, skipping breakfast also may lead to increased anxiety.

Skipping breakfast and heartburn

It was also possible to observe that those who habitually eat breakfast have a 43% lower risk of developing heartburn than those who skip this meal.

Breakfast and school performance

And what happens to school and mental performance when university students skip breakfast? The researchers analyzed the health status and habits of 21858 university students with an average age of 20. What emerged from the research is that those who habitually skip breakfast are more likely to have poor performance at school, to have sleep disturbances, which results intermittent and not restful, and to develop depression.

Skipping breakfast, conclusions

In short, from what emerges from various scientific studies, at all ages skipping breakfast does not seem a good idea as it can have effects on heart and mental health.

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