If your mom is anything like mine was, you can still hear her admonishing you for running out the door without breakfast. She probably told you something about not having enough energy to succeed the rest of the day, whether you were heading to school, out to play with friends or heading off to work.

Heart Health Tied to Breakfast

Well, WebMD published a new Harvard study that provides a new reason to listen to your mom: “Men who skip breakfast have a 27 percent higher risk of suffering a heart attack or developing heart disease than those who start the day with something in their stomach…’Men who skip breakfast are more likely to gain weight, to develop diabetes, to have hypertension and to have high cholesterol,’ said Eric Rimm, senior author and associate professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health and associate professor of medicine at the Harvard Medical School.”

Harvard’s New Heart Health Study

“The new study, published July 22 in the journal Circulation, found that these men also indulged more heavily in other unhealthy lifestyle choices. They were more likely to smoke, engage in less exercise and drink alcohol… The Harvard study found that men who skip breakfast do not pick up another meal later in the day, which Rimm said indicates that they tend to ‘feast’ on higher-calorie meals when they do eat. Previous studies have found that feasting can result in high cholesterol and elevated blood pressure, compared with nibbling smaller meals… The type of food that a person consumes during breakfast also might be a factor. ‘Breakfast is typically a time when people tend to eat a healthy meal,’ Rimm said. ‘By skipping a meal that usually features fiber or fruit or yogurt, you’re missing out on an occasion where people can get healthy nutrients.’ Younger men tend to skip breakfast more frequently than older men, the investigators found, which leads to another possible explanation. ‘It may be in line with the fact that these are men who are rushing out to stressful jobs and not eating along the way,’ Rimm said, noting that stress is bad for heart health and is associated with negative lifestyle choices such as drinking or smoking.”

What About Women’s Heart Health?

Interestingly, women were not included in this study, but are assumed to have similar results. This is a little concerning since previous studies on heart health have ignored women as well, and then later found that the men’s study results did not always correlate to women.
We’ll keep you posted on any similar studies on women’s heart health.

So, what do you typically eat for breakfast?

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