The risk for type 2 diabetes among children may be lowered with regular consumption of a healthy breakfast, according to research published in PLoS Medicine.
Angela S. Donin, MSc, of the Population Health Research Institute at St. George’s University of London, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study of 4,116 children aged 9 to 10 years to determine the effect of regularly consuming breakfast on the risk for type 2 diabetes.
Angela S. Donin
Participants were asked how often and what they consumed for breakfast, and blood tests were taken to measure diabetes risk markers that included fasting insulin, glucose and HbA1c. A 24-hour recall of foods eaten the previous day was conducted by a research nutritionist.
Overall, 26% of participants reported not regularly eating breakfast; 11% of those reported eating breakfast most days, 9% on some days and 6% not usually. Researchers found good agreement between self-reported breakfast frequency and the 24-hour dietary recall.
Compared with participants in the managerial group, those in the lowest socioeconomic category were most likely not to have breakfast (P<.0001). Compared with participants who reported always eating breakfast, participants who reported not usually eating breakfast had higher fasting insulin (percent difference, 26.4%), higher insulin resistance (26.7%), slightly higher HbA1c (1%) and slightly higher glucose (1%). Total and LDL cholesterol and diastolic blood pressure did not show significant differences in mean values among the groups.
Participants who ate high-fiber breakfasts had lower fasting insulin levels and insulin resistance.
Participants who did not eat breakfast every day had lower energy levels compared with those who did, as well as lower intakes of carbohydrates and total non-starch polysaccharides (dietary fiber).
“Our findings suggest that eating a breakfast every day, particularly one which is high in fiber, may help to protect against developing type 2 diabetes,” Donin told Endocrine Today. “Trials are needed to confirm whether the relationship between breakfast and type 2 diabetes is causal.” — by Amber Cox
Disclosure: See the full study for a complete list of the researchers’ financial disclosures.