Eating breakfast every day may lead to a lower risk for children of developing type 2 diabetes, especially if the breakfast includes high fiber cereals, according to a new study led by researchers at St George’s, University of London, and the Universities of Oxford and Glasgow supported by Diabetes UK.
According to the University of Glasgow, researchers analyzed survey answers from more than 4,000 primary school children from London, Birmingham, and Leicester, aged nine to ten, who provided information on their breakfast habits.
The group of children also provided blood samples to assess their insulin resistance, physical measurements, and data on their diets.
Armed with this data, the research team investigated the differences in risk factors according to their breakfast routines.
The results appeared to suggest that children who have breakfast every morning have a lower risk of developing the disease, apart from their body fat, physical activity, or socioeconomic status, than those who don’t have breakfast on a daily basis. In addition, among those who have breakfast, the ones who eat a high-fiber meal have lower risk of developing the disease, based on their insulin resistance.
According to one of the study authors, Dr. Naveed Sattar, Professor of Metabolic Medicine in the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, even though trials are needed, the results already seem to suggest that parents should encourage their children to eat breakfast. “By doing so, we may help in the battle against diabetes which is still rising at alarming rates in younger adults, and now also seen in children,” he said.
Another researcher, Dr. Angela Donin of the Population Health Research Institute at St George’s, called attention to these children’s eating habits. “It is concerning to note that more than 1 in 4 children in our study reported not eating breakfast every day.”
The UG research team noted that, while these preliminary findings are indeed valuable, further studies may aid in deepening and clarifying researchers’ understanding of how diet influences the development of diabetes.