Concerned About Type 2 Diabetes? Eat Breakfast
Skipping breakfast seems to increase type 2 diabetes risk, regardless of how many times a person eats each day
Having a family history of diabetes, being overweight or obese, and lack of physical activity all figure into type 2 diabetes risk. Now we can add eating patterns--how many times per day a person eats, snacking habits, and eating breakfast--as something to address to lower our own diabetes risk.
Break the fast, diminish diabetes
To study connections between eating patterns and type 2 diabetes, researchers collected information on diet and health habits from 29,206 men. The group, with an average age of 58 years, was followed for 16 years to determine who developed diabetes. After adjusting for other things that can affect risk--body mass index, other dietary habits, smoking, and exercise--the researchers found that:
Breakfast and beyond
Skipping breakfast seems to increase type 2 diabetes risk, regardless of how many times a person eats each day. As well, skipping breakfast may set us up for eating just once or twice daily, another habit that may contribute to higher diabetes risk. Lots of snacking may be a problem too, but only if you're carrying excess weight. Note that this study is observational, meaning it cannot prove cause and effect. Still, it appears that breakfast has an important role to play in keeping us healthy.
Make eating easy
Try our breakfast tips to find the path to your best health:
(Am J Clin Nutr 2012;95:1182-9)
Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, an author, speaker, and internationally recognized expert in chronic disease prevention, epidemiology, and nutrition, has taught medical, nursing, public health, and alternative medicine coursework. She has delivered over 150 invited lectures to health professionals and consumers and is the creator of a nutrition website acclaimed by the New York Times and Time magazine. Suzanne received her training in epidemiology and nutrition at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health at Ann Arbor.