The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Eat breakfast!

    Researchers at the Royal Children’s Hospital, in Victoria, Australia looked for an association between skipping breakfast and cardiometabolic risk factors in adulthood.

    They’ve come across a finding that’s particularly interesting.

    Cardiometabolic risk is defined as the overall risk of developing type 2 diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke) due to a cluster of modifiable risk factors.

    Now, the details.

    • In 1985, a national sample of Australian children reported whether they usually ate breakfast before school.
    • During follow-up (2004 to 2006), 2184 participants(now adults) completed a meal-frequency chart for the previous day.
    • Skipping breakfast was defined as not eating between 6 and 9 AM.
    • Participants were classified into 4 groups.
      • Never skipped breakfast in childhood nor adulthood
      • Skipped breakfast only in childhood
      • Skipped breakfast only in adulthood
      • Skipped breakfast in childhood and adulthood
    • Diet quality was assessed, waist circumference was measured, and blood samples were taken after a 12-hour fast.
    • Differences in average waist circumference and blood sugar levels, insulin, and lipid levels were calculated.
    • Adjustments were made for age, gender, and sociodemographic and lifestyle factors.

    And, the results.

    • Skipping breakfast during childhood and adulthood was associated with a larger waist circumference(average difference: 4.63 cm [1.82 inches).
    • They also had higher fasting insulin levels, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol levels than did those who ate breakfast during childhood and adulthood.
    • Additional adjustments for diet quality and waist circumference attenuated the associations with cardiometabolic variables, but the differences remained significant.

    The bottom line?

    The authors concluded, “Skipping breakfast over a long period may have detrimental effects on cardio metabolic health. Promoting the benefits of eating breakfast could be a simple and important public health message.”

    Let’s not kid ourselves.

    The most fascinating result from 2 years of studying more than 2000 people is that eating breakfast (any breakfast!) is associated with a 2-inch smaller waistline! Actually, the range was 1.7 to 7.5 cm (up to 3 inches).

    That’s huge.

    Recommendations that should optimize the positive response to eating breakfast are summarized here.

    10/23/10 19:53 JR

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