Eating A Doughnut Can Lower Your Risk of Diabetes?

Breakfast Bun and Coffee
Breakfast Bun and Coffee (Photo credit:

I kid you not. That’s pretty much the take home message from the recent breakfast study. People who ate any breakfast, anything at all, had a lower risk of obesity, high blood pressure, and, yes, diabetes. At least according to the Star Tribune. (link here).

Now, I don’t like taking things that don’t make sense at face value, so I went and found the study (abstract below).  Because it doesn’t specify what the people ate, theoretically a doughnut a day keeps diabetes away.  But it is equally, if not more likely that those who took the time to eat breakfast every day also did a reasonable job of picking healthy food.

So, no, eating a doughnut in the morning has not been shown to lower your risk of diabetes.  Contemplate that while sitting in the Dunkin’ Doughnuts drive through.

Breakfast Frequency and Development of Metabolic Risk.


Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.


OBJECTIVEThe relation of breakfast intake frequency to metabolic health is not well studied. The aim of this study was to examine breakfast intake frequency with incidence of metabolic conditions.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODSAnalysis of 3,598 participants from the community-based Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study who were free of diabetes in the year 7 examination when breakfast and dietary habits were assessed (1992-1993) and participated in at least one of the five subsequent follow-up examinations over 18 years.RESULTSRelative to infrequent breakfast consumption (0-3 days/week), participants who reported eating breakfast daily gained 1.9 kg less weight over 18 years (P = 0.001). In a Cox regression analysis, there was a stepwise decrease in risk across conditions in frequent breakfast consumers (4-6 days/week) and daily consumers. The results for incidence of abdominal obesity, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and hypertension remained significant after adjustment for baseline measures of adiposity (waist circumference or BMI) in daily breakfast consumers. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% CIs for daily breakfast consumption were as follows: abdominal obesity HR 0.78 (95% CI 0.66-0.91), obesity 0.80 (0.67-0.96), metabolic syndrome 0.82 (0.69-0.98), and hypertension 0.84 (0.72-0.99). For type 2 diabetes, the corresponding estimate was 0.81 (0.63-1.05), with a significant stepwise inverse association in black men and white men and women but no association in black women. There was no evidence of differential results for high versus low overall dietary quality.CONCLUSIONSDaily breakfast intake is strongly associated with reduced risk of a spectrum of metabolic conditions.


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