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Teens who skip breakfast more likely to develop metabolic syndrome in adulthood

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A new study published in Public Health Nutrition found that teenagers who skipped their morning meal were 68 percent more likely to develop metabolic syndrome as adults.

Metabolic syndrome is characterized by abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels or a resistance to insulin. According to the American Heart Association, someone with three or more of these risks is considered to have the syndrome.

Researchers at Umea University in Sweden started their study in 1981, asking 889 16-year-old students about their breakfast habits. Overall, 9.9 percent of respondents reported poor habits, including skipping meals or only eating or drinking something sweet.

In 2008, researchers checked back with participants. Those who didn’t eat breakfast as kids were 68 percent more likely to have developed metabolic syndrome. Researchers found that abdominal obesity and high fasting blood sugar levels were most associated with missing the morning meal.

Though more studies are needed, Maria Wennberg, the study’s main author from Umea University, said in a statement. “…our results… suggest that a poor breakfast can have a negative effect on blood sugar regulation.”


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