Why Harvard’s Study of Skipping Breakfast to Coronary Heart Disease is Wrong

TLDR: 

Article in Question: Prospective Study of Breakfast Eating and Incident Coronary Heart Disease in a Cohort of Male US Health Professionals

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The Independent

Forbes

Harvard School of Public Health recently studied the eating habits of men between the ages of 45 to 82 and claims that there is a correlation (not causation — important) between skipping breakfast to coronary heart disease. On the surface, the numbers can look intimidating, but after they adjust for external factors, then the risk significant is reduced.

People who missed breakfast were more likely to be smokers, unmarried and drink more alcohol than those who eat their morning meal, the study found. But the scientists were able to look at the impact of skipping breakfast in isolation of these other factors, which might have a negative effect on health.

There can be countless reasons why people missed breakfast. They suggest that those who maintain poor habits (drinking, smoking, etc.) skip breakfast. You can also speculate that these poor habits take a toll on one’s body and cause increase the risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). They also claim that they adjusted values for these poor habits and the risk went from 33% to 18%.

Another speculation is that those who skip breakfast would eat late at night. When eating late at night, people of “younger” age tend to eat unhealthy, fatty foods because these are the restaurants that are open.

Citing the Indepedent and Forbes, “When your body is fasting it goes into a protective drive, raising your blood pressure, raising levels of insulin and cholesterol. ”

This claim is outrageous and false. During fasts, people have a steady blood pressure and insulin level. Insulin levels can be raised when one imagines or sees photos of food and thinks about the food. However, fasting helps with insulin sensitivity, as opposed to building resistance to insulin.

This is why diabetics are prime people for intermittent fasting. See cases 1 successful intermittent fasting diabetic, and 2 fat man fasts for 380+ days

Additionally, cholesterol is not increased! I’m not sure why they decided to make this claim.

Another claimed correlation is that skipping breakfast leads insulin resistance. In fact, the opposite is more true. When you’re constantly feeding your body, you’re giving it spurts of sugar and insulin. When you reach obesity levels, your body learns to become more and more resistant to this insulin.

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