Eating breakfast helps keep you thin and diabetes-free.
A large U.S. study sought to find out whether breakfast consumption is protective against obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Results were dramatic.
“We found that those who reported eating breakfast daily had a 34 per cent decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes over 18 years,” says Andrew Odegaard, a research associate at the University of Minnesota school of public health.
Odegaard and colleagues from Minnesota, Chicago and Boston tracked 3,598 people for nearly 20 years, assessing their dietary habits, their weight, and their health.
Participants were young — between the ages of 18 and 30 — when the study started, and about 10 per cent of them developed type 2 diabetes.
When scientists crunched the data, they found that those who ate breakfast most days of the week were better off than those who never or rarely ate breakfast.
And eating breakfast every day was best of all.
But why is that first meal of the day so good for you? Odegaard explains.
“The research to date on the subject suggests that ‘break-ing the fast’ in the morning has day-long effects on factors related to metabolism and appetite, which would affect the development of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.”
He warns that just because you eat breakfast doesn’t mean you can pig out on junk food the rest of the day, and still remain thin.
“Breakfast may be important, but overall diet quality still needs to be emphasized.” The study was presented at the 2012 American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions.
The bad news:
Statistics. Diabetes affects nine million Canadians, and 90 per cent of those cases are type 2. The good news: people at risk for type 2 diabetes are able to reduce their risk by 58 per cent by exercising moderately for 30 minutes a day, according to the Canadian Diabetes Association.