Female breakfast skippers display a disrupted cortisol rhythm and elevated blood pressure

Megan Witbracht, Nancy L. Keim, Shavawn Forester, Adrianne Widaman, Kevin Laugero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Chronic stress and over-activity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis may link breakfast skipping and poor cardiometabolic health. Missing the first major meal of the day in rodents prolongs elevated circulating corticosterone at a time when it's normally decreasing. To extend these findings to humans, we hypothesized that habitual breakfast skippers would display a similar pattern of circulating cortisol and alterations in meal and stress-induced cortisol reactions. Normal weight to obese women aged 18-45. years old who were strictly defined as either breakfast skippers (n. =. 30) or breakfast eaters (n. =. 35) were invited to participate in our study. Normal breakfast habits were maintained for the entire study period and each participant attended 4 lab visits. Over the first 2 lab visits, body composition, fasting clinical chemistries, and self-reports of chronic stress were assessed. On each of 2 additional days (lab visits 3 and 4), salivary free cortisol was measured at home upon waking and at bedtime, and in the lab in response to a standard lunch, ad libitum afternoon snack buffet, and stress and control (relaxation) tasks. The order of the control and stress test visits was randomized. While body weight, body composition, HOMA-IR, total and HDL cholesterol did not statistically differ (p. >. 0.05), both diastolic and systolic blood pressure was elevated (p. <. 0.01) and LDL cholesterol was lower (p. =. 0.04) in the breakfast skipper group. Compared to the breakfast eaters and on the control task visit only, breakfast skippers had higher circulating cortisol from arrival to midafternoon (p. <. 0.01) and during the snack buffet (p. <. 0.05). Furthermore, the lunch-induced cortisol reaction was larger in the 'skippers' (p. =. 0.03). On both stress and control visit days, the diurnal cortisol amplitude was significantly (p. =. 0.02) blunted in breakfast skippers. Self-reports of chronic stress did not differ between the groups. These data indicate that habitually skipping breakfast is associated with stress-independent over-activity in the HPA axis which, if prolonged, may increase risk (e.g., hypertension) for cardiometabolic disease in some people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-221
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume140
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015

Fingerprint

Breakfast
Hydrocortisone
Blood Pressure
Lunch
Snacks
Body Composition
Self Report
Meals
Cortisol
Rhythm
Clinical Chemistry
Corticosterone
Exercise Test
LDL Cholesterol
HDL Cholesterol
Habits
Rodentia
Fasting
Body Weight
Hypertension

Keywords

  • Blood pressure
  • Breakfast skipping
  • Cardiometabolic health
  • Cortisol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Philosophy

Cite this

Female breakfast skippers display a disrupted cortisol rhythm and elevated blood pressure. / Witbracht, Megan; Keim, Nancy L.; Forester, Shavawn; Widaman, Adrianne; Laugero, Kevin.

In: Physiology and Behavior, Vol. 140, 01.03.2015, p. 215-221.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Witbracht, Megan ; Keim, Nancy L. ; Forester, Shavawn ; Widaman, Adrianne ; Laugero, Kevin. / Female breakfast skippers display a disrupted cortisol rhythm and elevated blood pressure. In: Physiology and Behavior. 2015 ; Vol. 140. pp. 215-221.
@article{3dd90868a3e048059adbc8682a9009f6,
title = "Female breakfast skippers display a disrupted cortisol rhythm and elevated blood pressure",
abstract = "Chronic stress and over-activity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis may link breakfast skipping and poor cardiometabolic health. Missing the first major meal of the day in rodents prolongs elevated circulating corticosterone at a time when it's normally decreasing. To extend these findings to humans, we hypothesized that habitual breakfast skippers would display a similar pattern of circulating cortisol and alterations in meal and stress-induced cortisol reactions. Normal weight to obese women aged 18-45. years old who were strictly defined as either breakfast skippers (n. =. 30) or breakfast eaters (n. =. 35) were invited to participate in our study. Normal breakfast habits were maintained for the entire study period and each participant attended 4 lab visits. Over the first 2 lab visits, body composition, fasting clinical chemistries, and self-reports of chronic stress were assessed. On each of 2 additional days (lab visits 3 and 4), salivary free cortisol was measured at home upon waking and at bedtime, and in the lab in response to a standard lunch, ad libitum afternoon snack buffet, and stress and control (relaxation) tasks. The order of the control and stress test visits was randomized. While body weight, body composition, HOMA-IR, total and HDL cholesterol did not statistically differ (p. >. 0.05), both diastolic and systolic blood pressure was elevated (p. <. 0.01) and LDL cholesterol was lower (p. =. 0.04) in the breakfast skipper group. Compared to the breakfast eaters and on the control task visit only, breakfast skippers had higher circulating cortisol from arrival to midafternoon (p. <. 0.01) and during the snack buffet (p. <. 0.05). Furthermore, the lunch-induced cortisol reaction was larger in the 'skippers' (p. =. 0.03). On both stress and control visit days, the diurnal cortisol amplitude was significantly (p. =. 0.02) blunted in breakfast skippers. Self-reports of chronic stress did not differ between the groups. These data indicate that habitually skipping breakfast is associated with stress-independent over-activity in the HPA axis which, if prolonged, may increase risk (e.g., hypertension) for cardiometabolic disease in some people.",
keywords = "Blood pressure, Breakfast skipping, Cardiometabolic health, Cortisol",
author = "Megan Witbracht and Keim, {Nancy L.} and Shavawn Forester and Adrianne Widaman and Kevin Laugero",
year = "2015",
month = "3",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.12.044",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "140",
pages = "215--221",
journal = "Physiology and Behavior",
issn = "0031-9384",
publisher = "Elsevier Inc.",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Female breakfast skippers display a disrupted cortisol rhythm and elevated blood pressure

AU - Witbracht, Megan

AU - Keim, Nancy L.

AU - Forester, Shavawn

AU - Widaman, Adrianne

AU - Laugero, Kevin

PY - 2015/3/1

Y1 - 2015/3/1

N2 - Chronic stress and over-activity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis may link breakfast skipping and poor cardiometabolic health. Missing the first major meal of the day in rodents prolongs elevated circulating corticosterone at a time when it's normally decreasing. To extend these findings to humans, we hypothesized that habitual breakfast skippers would display a similar pattern of circulating cortisol and alterations in meal and stress-induced cortisol reactions. Normal weight to obese women aged 18-45. years old who were strictly defined as either breakfast skippers (n. =. 30) or breakfast eaters (n. =. 35) were invited to participate in our study. Normal breakfast habits were maintained for the entire study period and each participant attended 4 lab visits. Over the first 2 lab visits, body composition, fasting clinical chemistries, and self-reports of chronic stress were assessed. On each of 2 additional days (lab visits 3 and 4), salivary free cortisol was measured at home upon waking and at bedtime, and in the lab in response to a standard lunch, ad libitum afternoon snack buffet, and stress and control (relaxation) tasks. The order of the control and stress test visits was randomized. While body weight, body composition, HOMA-IR, total and HDL cholesterol did not statistically differ (p. >. 0.05), both diastolic and systolic blood pressure was elevated (p. <. 0.01) and LDL cholesterol was lower (p. =. 0.04) in the breakfast skipper group. Compared to the breakfast eaters and on the control task visit only, breakfast skippers had higher circulating cortisol from arrival to midafternoon (p. <. 0.01) and during the snack buffet (p. <. 0.05). Furthermore, the lunch-induced cortisol reaction was larger in the 'skippers' (p. =. 0.03). On both stress and control visit days, the diurnal cortisol amplitude was significantly (p. =. 0.02) blunted in breakfast skippers. Self-reports of chronic stress did not differ between the groups. These data indicate that habitually skipping breakfast is associated with stress-independent over-activity in the HPA axis which, if prolonged, may increase risk (e.g., hypertension) for cardiometabolic disease in some people.

AB - Chronic stress and over-activity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis may link breakfast skipping and poor cardiometabolic health. Missing the first major meal of the day in rodents prolongs elevated circulating corticosterone at a time when it's normally decreasing. To extend these findings to humans, we hypothesized that habitual breakfast skippers would display a similar pattern of circulating cortisol and alterations in meal and stress-induced cortisol reactions. Normal weight to obese women aged 18-45. years old who were strictly defined as either breakfast skippers (n. =. 30) or breakfast eaters (n. =. 35) were invited to participate in our study. Normal breakfast habits were maintained for the entire study period and each participant attended 4 lab visits. Over the first 2 lab visits, body composition, fasting clinical chemistries, and self-reports of chronic stress were assessed. On each of 2 additional days (lab visits 3 and 4), salivary free cortisol was measured at home upon waking and at bedtime, and in the lab in response to a standard lunch, ad libitum afternoon snack buffet, and stress and control (relaxation) tasks. The order of the control and stress test visits was randomized. While body weight, body composition, HOMA-IR, total and HDL cholesterol did not statistically differ (p. >. 0.05), both diastolic and systolic blood pressure was elevated (p. <. 0.01) and LDL cholesterol was lower (p. =. 0.04) in the breakfast skipper group. Compared to the breakfast eaters and on the control task visit only, breakfast skippers had higher circulating cortisol from arrival to midafternoon (p. <. 0.01) and during the snack buffet (p. <. 0.05). Furthermore, the lunch-induced cortisol reaction was larger in the 'skippers' (p. =. 0.03). On both stress and control visit days, the diurnal cortisol amplitude was significantly (p. =. 0.02) blunted in breakfast skippers. Self-reports of chronic stress did not differ between the groups. These data indicate that habitually skipping breakfast is associated with stress-independent over-activity in the HPA axis which, if prolonged, may increase risk (e.g., hypertension) for cardiometabolic disease in some people.

KW - Blood pressure

KW - Breakfast skipping

KW - Cardiometabolic health

KW - Cortisol

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84920121554&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84920121554&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.12.044

DO - 10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.12.044

M3 - Article

C2 - 25545767

AN - SCOPUS:84920121554

VL - 140

SP - 215

EP - 221

JO - Physiology and Behavior

JF - Physiology and Behavior

SN - 0031-9384

ER -