Potential Side Effects Of Skipping Breakfast

April 11, 2024

There is the saying that breakfast is just as important as lunch and dinner. After all, this meal starts the day off. Breakfast is what allows us to put in some essential nutrients before proceeding to our daily routine. Despite how necessary a morning meal can be, a shockingly high number of individuals tend to skip eating breakfast. Individuals skip eating breakfast for a variety of reasons. For instance, some use omission as a tool for weight loss. Another reason for skipping breakfast is because of a bizarre notion it is not really that important.

Skipping breakfast may not seem like a big deal to the many individuals who simply do not feel like eating. However, it can cause problems related to health.

Increased Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Skipping breakfast is widely linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes. In fact, a number of studies have shown the irregular consumption of breakfast can have a significant negative impact on blood glucose. One study based in Japan focused on 4631 male and female participants for 8.9 years. Those who consumed breakfast three to five times or less weekly were associated with greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes. In a separate study for English youth, researchers found the daily consumption of breakfast, especially if it was high fiber cereal, tied to lower insulin resistance. Children who were reported not to have breakfast on a daily basis had greater triglycerides and fasting insulin.

A medical review recently published in January 2019 has also exhibited the link between skipping breakfast and type 2 diabetes. The reviews mention several studies in which participants are shown to have increased risk for type 2 diabetes upon skipping breakfast for a number of days.

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Reduced Mood And Energy

A study published in 2010 suggested eating breakfast could boost morning relaxation and happiness in participants. The participants reported being in better moods compared to not eating at all. Earlier studies show eating breakfast helped improve mood in schoolchildren. However, these effects were not long-term. The effects of breakfast omission on energy are shown in a study published in 2015 that featured healthy female participants that habitually ate breakfast. The study suggested skipping breakfast caused less energy intake and physical activity.

Some research even indicates not eating breakfast omission may have a link to mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. A 2017 medical review mentions a study that surveyed over 200,000 Korean adults. This study demonstrated adults who ate breakfast on a daily basis were less impacted by symptoms of depression than those who did not.

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May Cause Hair Loss

Though there is a lack of evidence, researchers also believe skipping breakfast may cause hair loss. More than likely, hair loss is related to the nutrient deficiency that results from not having a proper meal. A number of breakfast foods are essential to keep the hair rich in keratin, which is the protein that gives the hair its structure.

The contribution of breakfast omission to the development of diabetes may also be why it is linked to hair loss. Diabetes is suggested to have possible effects on the hair follicles; however, it is not well understood as to how. Thus, more in-depth research is needed to assess the effects of skipping breakfast has on the hair follicles.

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May Increase Weight Gain

Additional studies suggest skipping breakfast may increase weight gain. One study featuring Malaysian schoolchildren associated irregular breakfast consumption with a greater body adiposity index. Similar effects are also shown in separate 2007 study that involved over twenty thousand American male participants. The study, conducted over the course of a decade, showed males who ate breakfast regularly were less likely to gain weight compared to those who skipped it.

The effects of skipping breakfast on body weight are also demonstrated in a 2006 review that mentions a study featuring adolescents. In the study, researchers assessed the body mass index of the participants. Results concluded regular patterns of skipping breakfast as well as fast food consumption would contribute to weight gain through childhood to when the children were adults.

Skipping breakfast is also reported to increase the risk of individuals overeating throughout the remainder of the day, which as a result, increases the potential for weight gain.

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Increased Risk Of Hypertension

Another side effect associated with skipping breakfast is an increased risk of hypertension. The antihypertensive effects of breakfast consumption are shown in one study featuring Korean adults. The participants saw the habitual consumption of breakfast helped lessen the chance of increases in blood pressure.

A more recent study also focuses on the cardiovascular benefits of habitual breakfast consumption in Spanish residents. Eating breakfast reduced risk for hypertension as well as related conditions like hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis. Furthermore, an India-based study assessed the link between skipping breakfast and hypertension in participants suffering from coronary artery disease. Results showed a strong connection, allowing researchers to conclude habitual breakfast skippers were at greater risk for developing hypertension.

Despite studies, research assessing the impact of skipping breakfast on blood pressure levels is ongoing, as the mechanism as to how it occurs has yet to be specifically identified.

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