If you are one of those who like to skip breakfast because of any reason, then we have some important news for you.
According to a recent research, skipping breakfast could significantly increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes, reports The Telegraph.
The research shows adults who missed the first meal of the day were more than twice as likely to have blocked arteries.
Known as atherosclerosis, the condition restricts the flow of blood and oxygen to vital organs.
Study's author Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC director of Mount Sinai Heart and editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, said, "People who regularly skip breakfast likely have an overall unhealthy lifestyle. This study provides evidence that this is one bad habit people can proactively change to reduce their risk for heart disease."
Researchers examined male and female volunteers who were free from cardiovascular or chronic kidney disease. A computerized questionnaire was used to estimate the usual diet of the participants, and breakfast patterns were based on the percentage of total daily energy intake consumed at breakfast.
Three groups were identified -- those consuming less than five percent of their total energy intake in the morning (skipped breakfast and only had coffee, juice or other non-alcoholic beverages); those consuming more than 20 percent of their total energy intake in the morning (breakfast consumers); and those consuming between five and 20 percent (low-energy breakfast consumers).
Of the 4,052 participants, 2.9 percent skipped breakfast, 69.4 percent were low-energy breakfast consumers and 27.7 percent were breakfast consumers.
Atherosclerosis was observed more frequency among participants who skipped breakfast and was also higher in participants who consumed low-energy breakfasts compared to breakfast consumers.
Additionally, cardiometabolic risk markers were more prevalent in those who skipped breakfast and low-energy breakfast consumers compared to breakfast consumers.
Participants who skipped breakfast had the greatest waist circumference, body mass index, blood pressure, blood lipids and fasting glucose levels.
Participants who skipped breakfast were more likely to have an overall unhealthy lifestyle, including poor overall diet, frequent alcohol consumption and smoking.
They were also more likely to be hypertensive and overweight or obese.
Jose L. Peñalvo, PhD, assistant professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, noted, "Aside from the direct association with cardiovascular risk factors, skipping breakfast might serve as a marker for a general unhealthy diet or lifestyle which in turn is associated with the development and progression of atherosclerosis. Our findings are important for health professionals and might be used as a simple message for lifestyle-based interventions and public health strategies, as well as informing dietary recommendations and guidelines."
Prakash Deedwania, MD, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and author of the accompanying editorial comment said that this study provides clinically important information by demonstrating the evidence of subclinical atherosclerosis in people who skip breakfast.
Deedwania explained, "Between 20 and 30 percent of adults skip breakfast and these trends mirror the increasing prevalence of obesity and associated cardiometabolic abnormalities. Poor dietary choices are generally made relatively early in life and, if remained unchanged, can lead to clinical cardiovascular disease later on. Adverse effects of skipping breakfast can be seen early in childhood in the form of childhood obesity and although breakfast skippers are generally attempting to lose weight, they often end up eating more and unhealthy foods later in the day."
He concluded by saying, "Skipping breakfast can cause hormonal imbalances and alter circadian rhythms. That breakfast is the most important meal of the day has been proven right in light of this evidence."
The study was published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology.