Some news stories sugarcoat limitations of study linking skipping breakfast to heart disease. The study was observational and offered up this association: People who ate less than 5 percent of their total daily calories at breakfast, based on their answers on a questionnaire about their eating habits, were more likely to show signs of early atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in artery walls that can restrict blood flow.
Some outlets used appropriate language in their headlines: Skipping Breakfast May Be Bad For The Heart — But There Are Caveats (Forbes)
Others took license and turned the finding into a recommendation for their readers: The Surprising Reason You Should Stop Skipping Breakfast (Time) or: How a Healthy Breakfast Could Curb Heart Trouble (Consumer Reports)
And yet, none of the articles we looked at asked a question that nutrition experts say is key: What did the participants eat?