Typical breakfast food consumption and risk factors for cardiovascular disease in a large sample of Italian adults

R. di Giuseppe, A. Di Castelnuovo, C. Melegari, F. De Lucia, I. Santimone, A. Sciarretta, P. Barisciano, M. Persichillo, A. De Curtis, F. Zito, V. Krogh, M. B. Donati, G. de Gaetano, L. Iacoviello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aims: The overall consumption of foods most frequently consumed in a typical Italian breakfast might be associated with a better cardiovascular risk profile in Italian adults. Method sand Results: 18,177 subjects (53,2% women), aged ≥35 yrs, randomly selected from the Moli-sani Project population were studied.The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) FFQ was used for dietary assessment. To derive breakfast pattern, an "a priori" approach was used: firstly, foods typical of the Italian breakfast were selected: milk, coffee, tea, yogurt, crispbread/rusks, breakfast cereals, brioche, biscuits, honey, sugar and jam. The breakfast score was obtained adding the amounts of all selected foods, expressed in grams/day, previously standardized to mean zero and standard deviation 1.Subjects showing a higher breakfast score appeared to be younger, more frequently women or smokers, with higher social status but less likely practicing physical activity. After multivariable analyses, subjects with a higher breakfast food consumption had a lower risk to have high body mass index, abdominal obesity, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, blood glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol (P <0.0001 for all) and C Reactive Protein (P = 0.022). The associations were unrelated to age, sex, smoking, obesity, physical activity and social status. Subjects with a higher food breakfast score also showed a better physical healthy status score, a lower risk of metabolic syndrome (OR = 0.63; 0.55-0.72 95% CI) and of future CVD (P <0.0001 for both women and men). Conclusion: Consumption of typical Italian breakfast foods positively affects CVD risk profile in an adult Italian population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-354
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • Breakfast
  • C reactive protein
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity
  • Risk score

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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