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Misleading breakfast study can cause harm

Posted on October 3, 2017 at 8:15 AM

A study published in the October 2017 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology boasts that people who skip breakfast have a higher risk for heart disease. The association here, between skipping breakfast and developing heart disease, is a correlational one, not a causal one. To clarify, consider this commonly used example: 

Countries with more telephone poles often have higher rates of heart disease. Therefore, telephone poles and heart disease are positively correlated, but this does not prove that telephone poles cause heart disease.

Likewise, this study does not prove that skipping breakfast causes heart disease. In fact, the researchers add thier observations:

"Skippers... drank more alcoholic beverages and ate more red meat," and skippers tended to make "overall unhealthy food choices."


People who make unhealthy food choices -- more alcohol and more red meat than non-skippers -- have a high risk for heart disease. The breakfast piece means nothing.


There is no causation here. Skipping breakfast DO NOT cause heart disease.

Skipping breakfast, also called intermittent fasting, has been shown to have health benefits. Read about it here, here, here, and here.

The study is misleading. Unfortunately, people will see or hear about this study and eat unwanted and unnecessary calories, which can lead to weight gain and even higher rates of heart disease than we see now. 

Categories: Food, Weight loss, Lifestyle

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1 Comment

Reply MichaelPutle
11:22 AM on October 12, 2017 
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