Regular breakfast may protect against diabetes in youngsters

Children who eat breakfast regularly, particularly a high fibre cereal breakfast, had lower risk for type 2 diabetes than those children who ate breakfast infrequently, according to new research

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The results came from research among 4,116 9–10 year old children attending 200 schools in London, Birmingham, and Leicester participating in the Child Heart and Health Study in England (CHASE), a study examining risk factors for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in children.

Researchers took various body measurements of the study participants and their levels of insulin, glucose, and other blood markers of diabetes risk. All the participants reported how often they ate breakfast and 2,004 children also completed a 24-hour dietary recall questionnaire.

Seventy-four percent of the children reported that they ate breakfast every day, 11% and 9% reported that they ate breakfast most days and some days, respectively, whereas 6% reported that they rarely ate breakfast.

Children who ate breakfast every day had lower risk markers for type 2 diabetes (eg fasting insulin levels were lower) than those children who ate breakfast infrequently. In particular, the children who ate a high fibre, cereal-based breakfast had lower insulin resistance than children who ate other types of breakfast such as low fibre or toast-based breakfasts.

Studies of this type are often associated with confounding factors that can reduce the strength of the findings. However, in this study the association between eating breakfast and having a favorable type 2 diabetes risk profile remained after allowing for differences in socioeconomic status, physical activity levels, and amount of body fat.

Family GP, Dr Paul Stillman and advisor to the Breakfast Cereal Information Service (BCIS) commenting on the results said: “These findings are very encouraging and suggest the need to conduct further trials to see whether altering the breakfast habits of children can alter their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

“This study suggests that if all the children in England who do not eat breakfast daily could be encouraged to do so, it might reduce population-wide fasting insulin levels by about 4%. Moreover, encouraging children to eat a high fibre breakfast, instead of a low fibre breakfast might reduce population-wide fasting insulin levels by 11%–12%. Persuading children to eat breakfast, particularly a high fibre breakfast cereal regularly, could contribute to reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Breakfast cereals are a nutritious and convenient choice for breakfast as they contain a range of micronutrients. Choosing a high fibre breakfast cereal may offer additional benefit to health with regard to type 2 diabetes risk profile.”

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Win a hamper of Jordans breakfast cereals


Elixir has teamed up with natural, British food company, Jordans Cereals to offer six readers the chance to win a hamper full of organic, eco-friendly breakfast cereals and a Jordans Cereals cotton tote bag worth around £15.

Jordans have recently re-launched their range of tasty and wholesome Organic breakfast cereals; they support British farmers by only using grain grown from UK farms and the packaging is environmentally friendly too.

The Organic Muesli and Granola products are now packaged in a unique, fully compostable bag which has taken three years to develop. So once you have finished with your bag, you can pop it in the compost and let it breakdown rather than just throwing it away. The cardboard used in the Organic Porridge, Fruit and Fibre and the brand new addition, Organic Flakes and Berries packs is both recycled and recyclable.

There are now five fabulously tasty organic products for you to try from Jordans; Organic Porridge, Muesli, Granola, Fruit & Fibre and a brand new addition Organic Flakes and Berries. So, shoppers looking for a delicious, wholesome, natural, environmentally friendly breakfast can choose Jordans Organic, ensuring they’re doing their bit to reduce packaging waste as well.

The Jordans new look Organic range is available from all leading UK supermarkets. Prices range from £1.55 – £2.99. Visit for more information.

To win the hamper please email us your name and address at and put Jordans hamper in the header. The closing date for this competition is 31 March 2008. Please note that no cash equivalent is being offered and the Editor’s decision is final.

Skipping breakfast makes you fat, says Kelloggs’ survey


London: Do you skip breakfast most mornings? If yes then you’re not alone, as almost half (45%) of the UK admits to skipping breakfast regularly.

If you think this doesn’t effect you then read on to find out why you really should Mind the Gap……

Seven great reasons to make time for breakfast

· FACT: Studies show that people who eat breakfast are less likely to be overweight. If you’re trying to shed some unwanted pounds then you may think you can save a few calories by skipping breakfast. Whilst this may sound like a good idea, in fact what happens is that people who skip breakfast tend to overcompensate for the calories they miss at breakfast and end up eating MORE calories throughout the day, not less.

FACT: For people of all ages breakfast cereal provides key nutrients that improve the nutritional balance of the overall diet. A bowl of fortified cereal provides 25% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for the vitamins folate, thiamin, niacin, B6, riboflavin and B12 and 17% of the RDA for iron. And because cereal is usually eaten with milk you’re also getting a good dose of calcium. Research shows that if you miss the opportunity to stock up on these important nutrients at breakfast you will struggle to make them up during the rest of the day. Some nutritionists even suggest that missing breakfast leads not just to a ‘nutrient gap’ but a huge great nutrient chasm.

· FACT: After fasting overnight blood glucose levels are at an all-time low and may explain why people who don’t refuel with breakfast have difficulty concentrating and struggle to get through the morning.

· FACT: People who eat breakfast in the morning are less likely to fall victim to the mid morning snack attack

· Starting the day with a bowl of wholegrain cereal is an easy way to boost your fibre intake. A bowl of Kelloggs All-Bran provides a massive 45% of the Guideline Daily Amount for fibre.

· Surveys show that 4 out of 10 women under the age of 35 are low on iron. A 30g bowl of fortified cereal in the morning provides 17% of the RDA for iron and ensures you are starting the day as you mean to go on.

· Breakfast is the perfect opportunity to get a head start on your 5-A-Day target. A small glass of fruit juice counts as one of your recommended minimum 5 servings of fruit and vegetables and if you have a chopped banana, two tablespoons of raisins, dried apricots or fresh berries with you cereal, this can count as another. If you can tick off two servings of fruit at breakfast, then squeezing in three more during the rest of the day should be a doddle!

So, if you do just one thing this week…set the alarm to wake you up 10 minutes earlier than normal tomorrow and make time for a bowl of cereal. So whether you’re 16 or 66 you’ll reap the rewards throughout the rest of the day!

Refined cereals linked to kidney cancer

Milan: Refined foods such as bread increase the risk of kidney cancer, according to new reaserach from Milan’s Institute of Pharmacological Research.

People who eat five slices of bread each day, for example, are nearly twice as likely to develop the disease compared to those who eat 1.5 slices.

The elevated risk is caused by an increase in blood sugar and insulin as a result of eating refined cereals which result in the growth of cancer cells. The researchers, whose work is reported in the International Journal of Cancer, recommend replacing refined cereals with whole cereals.

The researchers studied more than 2,300 Italians – 767 who had the disease and 1,534 who did not – and asked them detailed information about their diet over the previous two years.

The scientists found a clear link between eating lots of bread and the risk of getting the cancer.

Overall those in the group that ate the most bread – equivalent to 35 slices weekly or five a day – were almost twice as likely to develop the cancer as those who had just 11 slices a week – around one and a half a day.

In contrast, those who ate a high proportion of poultry, meat and vegetables had a lower risk of getting the kidney cancer.

The study did not establish exactly what in bread may be to blame, however the researchers believe it may be linked to the high Glycaemic Index of many types.

Foods with a high GI cause a draondmatic rise in blood sugar levels which leads to the release of insulin and in turn chemicals that can fuel cell growth.

The theory is that cancer cells use these chemicals and the glucose to fuel their own unchecked, and therefore dangerous, growth.

Past studies have also found women who follow a low GI diet after the menopause have a lower risk of breast cancer than those who have lots of high GI foods.

The diet is also advised for people with diabetes to help prevent peaks and troughs in blood sugar levels.

Lead researcher Dr Francesca Bravi said her study suggested a diet with fewer cereals and more vegetables may help reduce the risk of renal cell carcinoma.

‘On the basis of the study we can also suggest reducing the consumption of refined cereals and increase that of wholegrain ones’ she added.