Study: Adults Who Skip Breakfasts Miss Out on Nutrients

Emily Caldwell wrote . . . . . . . . .

Adults who skip breakfast are likely to miss out on key nutrients that are most abundant in the foods that make up morning meals, a new study suggests.

An analysis of data on more than 30,000 American adults showed that skipping breakfast – and missing out on the calcium in milk, vitamin C in fruit, and the fiber, vitamins and minerals found in fortified cereals – likely left adults low on those nutrients for the entire day.

“What we’re seeing is that if you don’t eat the foods that are commonly consumed at breakfast, you have a tendency not to eat them the rest of the day. So those common breakfast nutrients become a nutritional gap,” said Christopher Taylor, professor of medical dietetics in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The Ohio State University and senior author of the study.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest dietary guidelines, calcium, potassium, fiber and vitamin D are considered “dietary components of public health concern” for the general U.S. population – with iron added for pregnant women – because shortages of those nutrients are associated with health problems.

Most research related to breakfast has focused on the effects of the missed morning meal on children in school, which includes difficulty focusing and behavioral problems.

“With adults, it’s more like, ‘You know how important breakfast is.’ But now we see what the implications really are if they miss breakfast,” Taylor said.

He completed the study with Ohio State College of Medicine graduate students Stephanie Fanelli and Christopher Walls. The research, which was supported by a regional dairy association, is published online in Proceedings of the Nutrition Society.

The team used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which collects health information on a nationally representative sample of about 5,000 people every year through interviews, laboratory tests and physical exams.

The sample for this study included 30,889 adults age 19 and older who had participated in the survey between 2005 and 2016. The Ohio State researchers analyzed data from 24-hour dietary recalls participants completed as part of the NHANES survey.

“During the recall, participants self-designate their eating occasions as a meal or a snack, and they tell you at what point in time they ate whatever food they report,” said Fanelli, first author of the study. “That’s how we determined whether someone was a breakfast eater or a breakfast skipper.”

In this sample, 15.2% of participants, or 4,924 adults, had reported skipping breakfast.

The researchers translated the food data into nutrient estimates and MyPlate equivalents using the federal Food and Nutrient Database for Dietary Studies and daily dietary guidelines, and then compared those estimates to recommended nutrient intakes established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academies.

On several key recommendations measured, from fiber and magnesium to copper and zinc, breakfast skippers had taken in fewer vitamins and minerals than people who had eaten breakfast. The differences were most pronounced for folate, calcium, iron, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and D.

“We found those who skipped breakfast were significantly more likely not to meet the bottom threshold of what we hope to see people eat,” Fanelli said.

Compared to the Healthy Eating Index-2015, which assesses how well a set of foods aligns with federal recommendations, breakfast skippers also had an overall lower-quality diet than those who ate breakfast.

For example, breakfast skippers were more likely than those who noshed in the morning to eat more added sugars, carbohydrates and total fat over the course of the day – in part because of higher levels of snacking.

“Snacking is basically contributing a meal’s worth of calorie intakes for people who skipped breakfast,” Taylor said. “People who ate breakfast ate more total calories than people who didn’t eat breakfast, but the lunch, dinner and snacks were much larger for people who skipped breakfast, and tended to be of a lower diet quality.”

While the data represent a single day in each participant’s life, the huge sample provides a “nationally representative snapshot for the day,” Taylor said.

“It shows that those who skipped breakfast had one nutrient profile and those who ate breakfast had a different nutrient profile,” he said. “It helps us identify on any given day that this percentage of people are more likely to be skipping breakfast. And on that day, their dietary intake pattern showed that their consumption didn’t capture those extra nutrients that they have basically missed at breakfast.”

Source: The Ohio State University

In Pictures: Home-cooked One-plate Breakfasts

What Works Best to Ease Migraines?

Amy Norton wrote . . . . . . . . .

A new research review offers good news for migraine sufferers: There are more pain-relieving options than ever.

In an analysis of over 100 published studies, researchers found that several drug classes showed good evidence they ease the pain of a migraine-in-progress.

Some of those medications have only become available in the past few years, opening up new options for migraine sufferers who don’t get enough relief from old standby drugs.

Experts said the widening field of migraine treatments, which also include nerve-stimulating devices, is encouraging.

“It’s great news there are now many effective treatments available,” said Dr. Rebecca Burch, a neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

For any one patient, she noted, finding the right treatment may take some trial-and-error — so persistence is key.

“Stick with it. Don’t give up hope,” Burch said. “If the first treatment doesn’t work, that doesn’t mean nothing will.”

Burch co-wrote an editorial that accompanied the research review in the June 15 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The analysis — which looked at 115 clinical trials and 15 previous evidence reviews — offers a needed update, said lead author Dr. Juliana VanderPluym.

“Over the past three years or so, a number of new migraine therapies have become available,” said VanderPluym, an assistant professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz.

They include the oral medications lasmiditan (Reyvow), which acts on a receptor for the hormone serotonin; and two “gepants” called ubrogepant (Ubrelvy) and rimegepant (Nurtec).

Gepants interfere with CGRP, a small protein released by the trigeminal nerve that plays a key role in generating migraine misery.

The review found, unsurprisingly, strong evidence supporting long-used migraine treatments — namely, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and aspirin, and a class of migraine-specific drugs called triptans.

All of those medications beat placebos in reducing pain two hours into a migraine attack, and one day later.

Meanwhile, both lasmiditan and the gepants looked good when it came to reducing or erasing pain two hours into an attack, and one day later. (The strength of the evidence was graded as “moderate” to “high.”)

But for the most part, triptans remain the first choice for treating acute migraines, Burch said.

Triptans work by targeting serotonin (in a different way than lasmiditan). They are often effective at dulling pain, but a downside is they constrict blood vessels. That means people at increased risk of heart attack or stroke typically cannot use them.

For some other patients, Burch said, triptans simply do not work, or the side effects — like numbness, dizziness and sleepiness — make them difficult to take.

That’s where alternatives come in — though so, too, can the practical issues of cost and insurance coverage.

Both gepants and lasmiditan are expensive, VanderPluym pointed out.

So insurance plans, she said, often require patients to try two triptans, or sometimes more, before they will cover the pricier drugs.

Medications are not the only treatment option, though.

The review found that several nerve-stimulating devices outperformed “sham” devices in easing migraine pain. The gadgets are used at home and employ electric or magnetic pulses to stimulate certain nerves involved in pain signaling.

“Devices are a great option for patients who want to avoid medications, or as an add-on to medication,” VanderPluym said.

But both she and Burch pointed to one barrier: cost. Insurance typically does not cover the devices, so patients can face high out-of-pocket expenses.

The review also highlights a medication class that should not be used for migraine pain — opioids.

The drugs, such as OxyContin and Vicodin, carry the risks of dangerous side effects and addiction. And when it comes to migraine pain, they simply do not work, Burch said.

The bottom line, according to VanderPluym, is that the “right” migraine treatment plan varies from person to person — and effectiveness, safety and cost all matter.

For people with longstanding migraines, she noted, this could be a good time to revisit their treatment plan with their doctor. Some might find the newer options are worth a try, VanderPluym said.

Source: HealthDay

Mexican Eggs


1 oz butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 red pepper, cored, seeded and diced
11 oz can sweetcorn kernels, drained or 6 oz frozen sweetcorn, cooked and drained
2 tablespoons chutney
freshly ground black pepper
4 eggs


1 oz butter
1 oz plain flour
1/2 pint milk
2 oz Cheddar cheese, grated


  1. 1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and fry the onion until just soft. Add the pepper, sweetcorn and chutney, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring all the time, for a further 5 minutes, then set aside.
  2. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Gradually stir in the milk over a low heat. Bring slowly to the boil and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Stir in half the cheese and salt and pepper. Cover and leave on one side off the heat.
  5. Poach the eggs in simmering water. Alternatively, soft boil them for 6 minutes, plunge them into cold water, then crack the surface gently by tapping all over with a spoon. Peel off a band across the middle of the egg. The shell can then be pulled off at each end. Dry the peeled eggs on kitchen paper.
  6. Reheat the vegetable mixture and spread over the base of an ovenproof dish. Top with the eggs.
  7. Reheat the sauce and pour it over the eggs. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese and put under a preheated hot grill until lightly browned. Serve immediately.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Creative Cookery

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