Thursday, February 6, 2014

Metabolic Syndrome Linked to Poor Breakfast Habits in Childhood

Researchers in Sweden report a link between the incidence of metabolic syndrome in adults and the kind of breakfasts those adults ate as children.
Friday, January 31, 2014

Studies reported in Medical News Today during 2013 suggested that eating a large breakfast could boost fertility for women with PCOS and lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

In addition, skipping breakfast has been said to increase the appeal of high-calorie foods later in the day. Some studies have even suggested that eating breakfast every day can help to lower body mass index (BMI), though other researchers have disputed this.

Researchers at Umea University in Sweden studied a group of Swedish schoolchildren, asking questions about what they ate for breakfast. Twenty-seven years later, the follow-up checked these same subjects for signs of any metabolic risk factors.

The study found that the people who did not eat breakfast (or who ate an insubstantial breakfast) as children were 68% more likely to have adulthood metabolic syndrome that their peers who ate substantial breakfasts.

It is estimated that 34 percent of the U.S. adult population meets the criteria for a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome. The high prevalence and spectrum of diseases associated with metabolic syndrome make it the number one public health issue in the this country.

You qualify for the diagnosis of metabolic syndrome if you have three or more of the following:
  • Waist circumference > 39 inches in males, > 33 inches in females.
  • Blood pressure 130/85 or higher.
  • Fasting blood sugar of 100 or higher.
  • Triglycerides of 150 or higher.
  • HDL less than 40 in males, 50 in females

People with metabolic syndrome are three times more likely to have a stroke or heart attack, and twice as likely to die from these events. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is five times higher in people with metabolic syndrome.

The good news is that this syndrome is preventable and even reversible. Dietary changes, including eating a good breakfast, are a good start. Regular exercise habits and proper nutritional support are also vital.

Assess your current health status. Have fasting blood tests annually. In addition to the tests noted above, check your glycohemoglobin A1c. It will predict the rise in fasting blood sugar years before it gets out of control. Also check thyroid function. The TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) normally ranges from 0.4 to 4.5, but levels above 2.0 are also associated with metabolic syndrome, especially in women. Consult with a qualified nutritionist to reverse the diseases associated with this epidemic in our nation. Finally, make sure your children do not leave home in the morning without a good meal to start their day.