The omission of breakfast could potentially be a marker of unhealthy dietary and lifestyle behavior and is associated with increased risk for noncoronary and generalized atherosclerosis, according to new data.
According to the study, the number and quality of eating occasions are included among potential targets for primary prevention strategies that have a large effect on CV health.
“Eating patterns are highly dependent on cultural, social and psychological determinants, as people integrate them into their daily life routines,” Irina Uzhova, MSc, from the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III in Madrid, and colleagues wrote. “A particular habit that might have a significant effect on CV health is breakfast consumption, as it is associated with factors such as satiety, daily energy intake, metabolic efficiency on the diet and appetite regulation.”
To assess the association between breakfast patterns and CVD risk factors, Uzhova and colleagues performed a cross-sectional analysis of the PESA study, which included asymptomatic adults aged 40 to 54 years.
The study collected lifestyle and multivascular imaging data and clinical covariates from 4,052 patients (mean age, 46 years) and analyzed the data using multivariate logistic regression models.
The researchers studied three patterns of breakfast consumption:
- high-energy breakfast, contributing to > 20% of total daily energy intake (27% of the cohort);
- low-energy breakfast, contributing between 5% and 20% of total daily energy intake (70% of the cohort); and
- skipping breakfast, consuming < 5% of total daily energy (3% of thecohort).
Independent of the presence of traditional and dietary CV risk factors, compared with high-energy breakfast, frequent skipping of breakfast was linked to higher rates of noncoronary (OR = 1.55; 95% CI, 0.97-2.46) and generalized (OR = 2.57; 95% CI, 1.54-4.31) atherosclerosis risk.
“Considering the importance of regular breakfast consumption for primary CVD prevention, our findings are important for health professionals and might be used as an important key and simple message for lifestyle-based interventions and public health strategies, as well as informing dietary recommendations and guidelines,” the researchers wrote.
According to a related editorial from Prakash Deedwania, MD, from the University of California, San Francisco, and Tushar Acharya, MD, from Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging, NHLBI, the need for corrective public health measures to curb the global epidemic of obesity is urgent.
“Given the emerging evidence of association between altered dietary patterns and increased risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, subclinical atherosclerosis and clinical CV events, it seems prudent to pay attention to diet and educate the public to implement simple lifestyle changes that include emphasis on a regular, hearty and nutritious breakfast,” they wrote. “These easy and economical public health measures can curb the oncoming tsunami of diabetes and CV disorders. Indeed, the wisdom of the ages that breakfast is the most important meal of the day has been proven.” – by Dave Quaile
Disclosures: Acharya, Deedwania and Uzhova report no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the study for all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.