Rx Nutrition Resource Center

Rx Nutrition Resource Center

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
September 01, 2021
1 min read

Eating breakfast lowers risk for death

Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.
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Eating breakfast regularly, especially when the meal included more than 25 grams of fiber, was linked to lower overall and cardiovascular mortality, a cohort study showed.

The results build on previous research showing the cardiovascular benefits of eating breakfast.

A vector image of a person eating at a table. A graphic that reads: Those who ate more than 25 grams of fiber daily experienced a 21% reduction in all-cause mortality.
Reference: King DE, Xiang J. Jrnl Am Board Fam Med. 2021;doi:/10.3122/jabfm.2021.04.210044.

Dana E. King, MD, MS, and Jun Xiang, MS, MA, both from the department of family medicine at West Virginia University, merged data from 5,761 adults aged 40 years and older who participated in the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey from 1999 to 2000 and 2001 to 2002 and the 2015 Public-use Linked Mortality File. According to the researchers, 82.9% of the adults indicated that they ate breakfast. During an average of more than 12 years of follow-up, 35.2% of the participants died, with CVD responsible for 8.1% of the deaths.

A multivariable-adjusted analysis showed that the breakfast eaters, compared with non-breakfast eaters, were less likely to experience mortality (overall mortality HR = 0.69; 95% CI, 0.57-0.84; cardiovascular-related mortality HR = 0.45; 95% CI, 0.32-0.63). Those who consumed more than 25 grams of fiber daily experienced a 21% drop in all-cause mortality after multivariable adjustments (HR = 0.79; 95% CI, 0.66-0.96). The breakfast eaters consumed more calories and fiber daily, tended to be older and had lower BMI than the non-breakfast eaters, researchers said.

Researchers previously found a link between high fiber intake and low inflammatory biomarkers, including C-reactive protein levels, which may explain the associations found in the study, according to King and Xiang.

The FDA, based on a 2,000-calorie daily diet, recommends a daily intake of 28 grams of fiber per day.

King and Xiang wrote that their findings align with previous systematic reviews and meta-analyses that found skipping breakfast increased the risk for being overweight or obese and developing diabetes.


FDA. Interactive Nutrition Facts Label. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/interactivenutritionfactslabel/dietary-fiber.cfm. Accessed August 30, 2021.

King DE, Xiang J. Jrnl Am Board Fam Med. /10.3122/jabfm.2021.04.210044.