Public Health Nutrition

Research paper

Poor breakfast habits in adolescence predict the metabolic syndrome in adulthood

Maria Wennberga1 c1, Per E Gustafssona1, Patrik Wennberga1 and Anne Hammarströma1

a1 Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine, Umeå University, 901 87 Umeå, Sweden

Abstract

Objective To analyse whether poor breakfast habits in adolescence predict the metabolic syndrome and its components in adulthood. Previous studies suggest that regular breakfast consumption improves metabolic parameters.

Design Prospective. Breakfast habits and other lifestyle variables at age 16 years were assessed from questionnaires. Poor breakfast habits were defined as skipping breakfast or only drinking or eating something sweet. At age 43 years, the effective sample consisted of 889 participants defined as having the metabolic syndrome or not, using the International Diabetes Federation criteria. Logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios and confidence intervals.

Setting The Northern Swedish Cohort, a longitudinal population-based cohort with 27-year follow-up.

Subjects Adolescents (age 16 years).

Results Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome at age 43 years was 27·0 %. Of the participants, 9·9 % were classified with poor breakfast habits at age 16 years. Adjusted odds for the metabolic syndrome at age 43 years was OR = 1·68 (95 % CI 1·01, 2·78) for those with poor breakfast habits at age 16 years compared with breakfast eaters. Looking at the metabolic syndrome components, poor breakfast habits at age 16 years were associated with central obesity (OR = 1·71; 95 % CI 1·00, 2·92) and high fasting glucose (OR = 1·75; 95 % CI 1·01, 3·02) at age 43 years, even after multivariate adjustments.

Conclusions Poor breakfast habits in adolescence predicted the metabolic syndrome in adulthood. Of the metabolic syndrome components, poor breakfast habits in adolescence predicted central obesity and high fasting glucose in adulthood. Further research is needed to fully understand the relationship between early breakfast habits and adult metabolic syndrome.

(Received May 22 2013)

(Revised October 21 2013)

(Accepted November 08 2013)

Keywords

  • Breakfast;
  • Metabolic syndrome;
  • Life course

Correspondence

c1 Corresponding author: Email maria.wennberg@umu.se

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