Skipping breakfast could
increase risk of diabetes
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Washington: Overweight women who regularly skip
breakfast may develop chronic insulin resistance which could increase their risk
for type 2 diabetes, a new study has warned.
"Our study found that acute insulin resistance developed after only one day of
skipping breakfast," said the study's lead author, Elizabeth Thomas, an
endocrinology fellow at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora.
In insulin resistance, a person requires more insulin to bring their glucose, or
blood sugar, into a normal range, she explained.
Thomas and co-workers studied nine non-diabetic women, with an average age of
29, who were overweight or obese. The study took place on two days about a month
Subjects were randomly assigned to receive either breakfast or no breakfast at
the first visit and the opposite at the second visit.
Four hours later, all subjects ate the same standardized lunch at each visit.
They had blood samples taken every 30 minutes after lunch for three hours to
test their insulin and glucose levels.
It is normal for glucose levels to rise after eating a meal, which then triggers
insulin production. The researchers found, however, that the women's insulin and
glucose levels after lunch were significantly higher on the day they skipped
breakfast than on the day when participants ate breakfast.
The higher levels demonstrated acute insulin resistance because of skipping
breakfast, according to Thomas. It was not clear if this "heightened metabolic
response" was temporary or lasting, but it may contribute to the development of
chronic insulin resistance, she said.
When the body becomes permanently resistant to the effects of the hormone
insulin, sugar builds up in the blood, which can lead to prediabetes and
diabetes over time.
"This information should help health care providers in counselling patients as
to why it is better to eat a healthy, balanced breakfast than to skip
breakfast," Thomas said. The results were presented at The Endocrine Society's
95th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
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