Research we're watching
A study published October 2017 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that people who regularly skip breakfast may have more arterial plaque than those who don't. Researchers used ultrasound to scan the arteries of more than 4,000 adults in Spain who were categorized into three groups: those who ate a heavy breakfast, those who ate a light breakfast, and those who ate no breakfast at all. They found that nearly 75% of those who regularly skipped breakfast had signs of plaque buildup in their arteries, compared with only 57% of people who reported eating a big breakfast every day and 64% who ate a small meal in the morning.
It's not clear why this was the case, although the authors noted that the people in the study who skipped breakfast were more likely to be obese and to have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes. However, even when the researchers adjusted for those factors, the differences in arterial plaque levels between the groups persist.