Minerva

The importance of breakfast and other stories . . .

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f5720 (Published 23 September 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5720

Since antibody testing for coeliac disease became available 20 years ago, the classic presentation of gross malabsorption in childhood has become the exception rather than the rule. Coeliac disease is now more often diagnosed in adults, and many with positive antibodies and villous atrophy have no obvious symptoms. But a study of Scottish children in Pediatrics (2013, doi:10.1542/peds.2013-0932) finds that the incidence of classic malabsorptive coeliac disease rose more than threefold in the 10 years up to 2000. The authors conclude that some hidden factor is at work. Perhaps young Scots, once famously raised on oats (“a grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.” Dictionary of the English Language, S Johnson, 1755), are suffering the effects of forsaking their breakfast porridge for gluten-rich cereals.

A survey in Australia has discovered that many socioeconomically disadvantaged women do not eat breakfast (Journal of Nutrition 2013, doi:10.3945/jn.113.181396 …

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