Healthy breakfast, less TV benefit your heart

A good breakfast and less TV are key to heart health, says a new two-pronged study to be presented on March 17 at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th annual scientific session in New Orleans.

The event attracts cardiologists and cardiovascular specialists from around the world who share the newest discoveries in treatment and prevention.

“Our results emphasize the importance of avoiding prolonged periods of sedentary behavior,” said Dr. Sotirios Tsalamandris, a cardiologist at the First Cardiology Clinic at Nation and Kapodistrian University of Athens Greece, and the study’s lead author. “These findings suggest a clear message to hit the ‘off’ button on your TV and abandon your sofa. Even activities of low energy expenditure, such as socializing with friends or housekeeping activities, may have a substantial benefit to your health compared to time spent sitting and watching TV.”

To reach their conclusions, researchers assessed heart healthy markers with a variety of environmental exposures and lifestyle factors in 2,000 people living in Corinthia, Greece, ages 40 to 99, with an average age of 63 years old.

The first prong of the study found that those watching over 21 hours of TV a week were 68 percent more likely to have high blood pressure and 50 percent more likely to have diabetes than those who watched less than seven hours of TV a week.

The second prong of the study looked at daily caloric intake from breakfast. Breakfast foods commonly eaten by those in the high-energy breakfast group included milk, cheese, cereals, bread and honey, while those in the low-energy group typically included coffee or low-fat milk along with bread with butter, honey, olives or fruit.

The study was reported online by EurekAlert, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.