Skipping Breakfast Can Cause Insulin Resistance

They say it's the most important meal of the day, and that just may be true. In a recent study, skipping breakfast was found to temporarily induce insulin resistance in overweight women.

Insulin resistance is a diabetes risk factor. It happens when cells in the body can't recognize and respond to insulin being released to help the cells take in blood sugar. In response, the patient's body then produces extra insulin to compensate. This can lead to diabetes.

The small study included nine female participants who were overweight or obese. Researchers took blood samples from each of the women. One blood testing day was after eating breakfast and four hours later, lunch; the other testing day was after skipping breakfast and eating only lunch.

They found that when the participants skipped breakfast, they had higher insulin and blood sugar levels after eating lunch than they did when they ate breakfast in addition to lunch. The authors of the study wrote that this difference indicated acute insulin resistance when the women missed their morning meal.

According to the Huffington Post, survey data from 2011 found that about 10% of the American population skips breakfast regularly. With obesity on the rise, the findings of this research may be crucial in diabetes prevention. It may be even more important that health-care providers encourage patients to eat a healthy, well-balanced breakfast every day.


Thomas EA, Bechtell J, Higgins J, Cornier MA. Metabolic effects of skipping breakfast in obese women. Endocrine Reviews 2013; 34(03_MeetingAbstracts): OR02-2.

(2013, June 19). "Skipping breakfast linked with acute insulin resistance in overweight women: study." Huffington Post Healthy Living. Retrieved from