breakfast workplace wellness

Research Adds to Benefits of Breakfast Evidence

We’ve heard it before, and now there’s additional evidence: Eating breakfast appears to lead to improved health outcomes.

Understanding proper food choices can be part of a well-run workplace wellness program.

We previously noted a MedPage Today that states: “Breakfast-Eaters Have Less Atherosclerosis: Skimpy, skipped breakfasts associated with plaque in Spanish study.”

The post notes: “As opposed to eating large breakfasts, habitually skipping them was associated with more generalized atherosclerosis, independent of traditional and dietary cardiovascular risk factors.”

“Breakfast-skippers were more likely to have atherosclerosis in the abdominal aorta and carotid arteries, according to Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, of Mount Sinai in New York City and Madrid’s Fundación Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III, and colleagues in the October 10 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Now new research links benefits of eating breakfast to addressing a chronic disease that is a significant health factor for Americans — and drives significant health costs as well.

MedPage Today reports that “a hearty breakfast, a medium lunch, and a light dinner might be the eating plan that can help diabetics reduce their dependence on insulin.”

“After 3 months on the big breakfast diet, patients who ate a high energy breakfast and had two smaller meals lost 11 pounds and used 20.5 fewer units of insulin a day from what they were using at the start of the trial, while patients who followed one of the traditional diabetes meals — eating several meals across the day — gained 3 pounds and used 2.2 more insulin units, reported Daniela Jakubowicz, MD, of the University of Tel Aviv in Israel.”

What role might a well-run workplace wellness program play in educating employees?

The authors of the Spanish study speculate that individuals who skip breakfast might have other unhealthy habits, meaning that in the always-challenging area of engaging employees, this could become an effective discussion point.

Said Jakubowicz at a press conference at ENDO, the annual meeting of The Endocrine Society: “The hour of the day — when you eat and how frequently you eat — is more important that what you eat and how many calories you eat. The meal timing schedule, with a high energy breakfast diet, should be a strategy to improve diabetes control and outcome.”