The experiment recruited factory workers in Japan aged between 19 and 68 who were tasked with completing two questionnaires. Participants who showed baseline depressive status or had a history serious illness were excluded from the study.
In both surveys, the 716 volunteers were asked about the breakfast habits, choosing between "daily", “5–6 times per week”, “3–4 times per week”, “1–2 times per week” or “less than 1 time per week”.
Those who took part in the experiment were then assessed to see if they displayed the 6 typical symptoms of depression using a depression scale.
Results found a significant link between skipping breakfast and depressive symptoms, even when taking into consideration lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol drinking, sleep, job stress and levels of physical activity.
Eating breakfast once a week compared to daily increased the risk of depressive symptoms while overall, the lower the frequency of breakfast consumption, the more likelier participants were to show depressive symptoms.
Scientists suggest that this could be down to breakfast lowering cortisol levels in the body. Another hypothesis could be the link between morning food and circadian clock. More research is needed however to determine the cause.
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