I’m scared this morning with some headlines: “Skip breakfast can be almost as harmful as smoking.” Take it now!
It is that scares anyone, because you, you are a person who is very clear that smoking is one of the worst things you can do to your body, or you’ve never done, or you left long ago, or what you’re trying with all your effort (and if not, I do not know what you expect), but you go and you come across this and you think “Anyway, everything is useless, I sometimes do not breakfast, so for that I’m still smoking.” Who would not think?
Jokes aside, this headline is an exaggeration (real) but there have been others who were going the same way, highlighting the results of a study that seems to conclude the importance to the health of having breakfast well every day.
Amazing headlines because, in fact, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day is one of the most widespread food myths but that’s a myth. Experienced nutritionists have been explaining that breakfast is healthy if you feel like having breakfast, but it’s okay to skip breakfast if the whole meal you follow throughout the day is balanced and healthy .
A cross-sectional study is a still photo
The study to which these headlines refer has been carried out by researchers observing 4000 workers. As L. Ramirez explains in his blog What the science says to lose weight, we must start by pointing out that it is a cross-sectional study, that is, that researchers have limited themselves to “taking a picture” of the situation, without following up in time or without intervening in the question to measure the effect of different actions.
Cross-sectional studies should be taken with caution precisely because of this: measuring variables at a particular time would be easy to think that they have more relationship with each other than they actually have. Remember, once again: correlation does not imply causality.
The study established three groups according to their breakfast habits: those who skip breakfast, those who eat breakfast a few calories, and those who eat breakfast, and establish a higher risk of atherosclerosis in the first group, followed by the second and then the third. This seems to indicate that, in fact, not having breakfast carries a greater risk for health, and that doing it in abundance seems better than pecking something and running out the door.
But things are not so simple. First, because we had to adjust the results to make sure there were no other variables interfering with the result. It is commonly known that people who do not eat breakfast generally have worse eating habits and life in general, which ends up having a negative effect on their health that could be erroneously attributed exclusively to the fact that they do not eat breakfast.
After adjusting the results, the researchers conclusions are that skipping breakfast can serve as an indicator of unhealthy habits and relate to the presence of atherosclerosis. Something that is far from the alarmist headlines that we have read today, and that certainly does not mean that not eating breakfast is as bad as smoking, which often frighten!
Shital regularly contributes on interesting health articles and healthy living ideas to health blogs around the web. When she’s not busy working with the jobs, you will find her undertaking many of her own health-related topics and healthy living ideas! She has a lot of dreams. She works hard to fulfill her dreams. She loves to share her ideas, tricks, tips and information by blogging. She also works at Creativejasmin.com, a company that committed to helping businesses with online marketing.