Many Americans are willing to go to great lengths in order to lose weight. With approximately 80% of dieters trying to lose weight on their own, it’s not uncommon to see people you know adopting calorie restrictive routines or embracing weight loss trends just for the sake of losing a few pounds.
Some people might even be inclined to skip meals altogether, despite the average American eating out 4.5 times a week, which certainly isn’t a good long-term solution. Not only might it cause you to over-eat later on, but it turns out that forgoing your first meal of the day could actually increase your risk of dying due to heart problems.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S., with roughly 610,000 cardiovascular-related fatalities every year. Although there are a number of factors that might determine heart disease risk, a new study has revealed that failing to eat breakfast on a consistent basis might make you a lot more likely to succumb to these kinds of conditions.
Data recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that approximately 16% of adults aged 40 to 75 said they never or rarely ate breakfast. In analysis of the deaths that occurred among those participants, it was discovered that those who skipped breakfast on a daily basis had an 87% higher risk of cardiovascular-related death compared to those who ate breakfast every day (a demographic representing 59% of all participants).
What’s more, those who skipped breakfast consistently had a 59% increase of heart disease development risk and had triple the risk of having a stroke as compared to breakfast eaters. Overall, those who refrained from eating breakfast showed a 19% increase risk for all causes of death, as well. In other words: if you don’t wakey wakey with eggs and bakey, you might be cutting your own life short.
That said, the analysis does come with some restrictions. The data examined did not include information pertaining to the types of foods and beverages that were consumed for breakfast, nor was there data about whether an individual’s breakfast consumption changed between the initial data gathering and the study follow-up. Moreover, there’s nothing to say that skipping breakfast directly causes heart disease or early death; the data merely determines a correlation, rather than a causation.
Still, the findings may be compelling enough for some Americans to rethink their eating habits. Although breakfast has anecdotally been considered to be “the most important meal of the day,” there hasn’t been a lot of scientific evidence to prove this is true.
Considering that skipping breakfast can also lead to higher blood pressure and being overweight, it’s clear that eating a nutritional and filling breakfast will likely allow you to achieve weight loss goals and live longer. And since the average cost of just one day in a U.S. hospital was a staggering $4,293 in 2013, it could be something as affordable and easy to make as a scrambled egg and a piece of toast that could keep you in the pink of health.
Do you eat breakfast daily?