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Skipping Breakfasts As Teens Ups Metabolic Syndrome Years Later

Update Date: Jan 29, 2014 02:21 PM EST

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day- at least for adolescents.

Eating poor breakfasts can increase teens' risk of metabolic syndrome in adulthood.

Researchers found that adolescents who didn't eat breakfast or ate a poor breakfast were more likely to develop metabolic syndrome 27 years later compared to those who ate more substantial morning meals.

Metabolic syndrome refers to factors that can increase a person's risk of suffering cardiovascular disease including abdominal obesity, high levers of harmful triglycerides, low levels of good cholesterol, high blood pressure and high fasting blood glucose levels.

The latest study involved all students completing year 9 of their schooling in Luleå in 1981. Students had to answer questions about what they ate for breakfast, and underwent a health check for presence of metabolic syndrome 27 years later.

Researchers found that adolescents who didn't eat or ate poor breakfasts had a 68 percent higher rate of metabolic syndrome as adults, compared with those who had eaten more substantial breakfasts in their youth. The study had accounted for socioeconomic factors and other lifestyle habits of the adolescents involved in the study.

Researchers found that abdominal obesity and high levels of fasting blood glucose levels in adulthood were subcomponents that were most clearly linked with poor breakfast in adolescence.

"Further studies are required for us to be able to understand the mechanisms involved in the connection between poor breakfast and metabolic syndrome, but our results and those of several previous studies suggest that a poor breakfast can have a negative effect on blood sugar regulation," researcher Maria Wennberg of Luleå University said in a statement.

The findings are published in the journal Public Health Nutrition.

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