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8 March 2002 News Update


Breakfast has long been regarded as the most important meal of the day, but scientists believe it could be even more important than the nutritionists thought.

Research suggests that those who skip breakfast are more likely to be struck down with colds or flu.

The finding emerged from a study of 500 healthy volunteers conducted by scientists at Cardiff University. The volunteers kept a diary for ten weeks to record how often they were ill and their symptoms.

They were also asked to note down how any illness affected their attention span, memory and general mood.

The results were analysed alongside details of their smoking, drinking and eating habits, together with how much stress each person encountered in their day-to-day lives.

A clear pattern emerged from the analysis linking breakfast with better general health.

Professor Andy Smith, who led the study, explained that those who had more than one illness were less likely to eat breakfast.

The 188 participants who developed colds were also more likely to drink and smoke than those who remained healthy. Smokers and participants who had a lot of stress in their lives became ill more quickly than non-smokers.

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