Breakfast is already said to be the most important meal of the day – but experts now believe that eating it at the crack of dawn could help you live longer, too.
Having it by 7am could boost life expectancy – but waiting until 10am could put you in an early grave, research suggests.
Scientists sought to determine if the time of first meal was related to longevity.
Previous research has found eating late at night disrupts the body’s internal clock and increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. However, few studies examined whether breakfast timing has an impact on the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
City University of New York researchers tracked over 34,000 Americans older than 40 years for many decades (stock photo).
Researchers at City University of New York followed more than 34,000 Americans over forty for many decades.
Scientists compared the death rates of volunteers and those who ate during the experiment to determine the eating habits.
These results were published in Journal of Nutrition. The Journal of Nutrition found that people who had breakfast at 6:45 and 7 am were 6 per cent more likely to die from major illness such as heart disease and cancer, while those who had breakfast at 8am regularly were 12 per cent at greater risk of premature death.
It’s thought that skipping breakfast, or eating it late, disrupts the body’s ‘food clock’ – the internal programming that controls the release of feeding-related hormones, such as insulin.
Scientists compared the eating habits of volunteers with the death rate over the course the study. Stock image
The hormone is responsible for removing glucose from your bloodstream. Its levels are highest in the morning.
Eating later may mean the body gradually makes less insulin and blood glucose levels rise – leading to diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
A poll last year found one in five Britons regularly missed breakfast entirely and didn’t have their first meal until midday.