Does the Timing of Meal Affect Obesity Risk? Study Says Yes


Existing Research has already identified a possible pattern between eating later and an increased risk of weight gain. It has been proven how any calorie intake after 8 pm can increase the risk of getting obese.

However, it is not yet clear whether the people eating later in the day may experience lesser sleep or not. This factor is extremely important as according to scientists, sleeping for lesser time plays an important part in obesity.

The lead author of this study has explained a few of the studies conducted previously assessed the effects of meal timing and sleep timing on people with obesity. He also said how it is still not clear whether eating later during the day has any connection with higher body fat or a shorter duration of sleep.

The findings of this study were presented in the DNO conference in 2019.

The scientists took 31 adults with an average age of 36 years. All the participants had obesity or were overweight. To get all the relevant information, the scientists also took measures to assess their levels of activity, sleep, and diet.

All the participants wore a device to monitor their sleep-wake cycle. They also wore other tools on their thigh to measure the amount of time they spent being sedentary or performing physical activity.

The participants also kept a track of what they ate with the help of a phone app. They photographed every single meal and snack that they ate in addition to the exact time of eating. The researchers also used a glucose monitor to check their dietary intake.

Sleep, Weight, and Meal Times

The analysis indicated how the participants ate their food with an 11-hour window and got 7 hours of sleep every day.

People who ate later during the day had higher BMI and higher levels of body fat as expected. The researchers also found that people who ate later still managed to sleep for 7 hours. This implied that a lack of sleep does not drive these effects.

The preliminary trial of this study is a part of a project to investigate these interactions in detail.

The lead author has noted how these findings support the overall study that looks at how restricting the eating window to early hours reduces the risk of obesity.

Such types of experiments are easier to perform these days because of the availability of modern technology. The use of activity monitors and mobile apps has become an important part of today’s society which has made it possible to work for the treatment and prevention of obesity.

However, because this study is a small-scale project with short duration, it is important to process these findings with caution. It will be exciting to get the final results from this study.

The findings of this study are in alignment with those of earlier investigations i.e. the timing of meals is an important factor in causing obesity.


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Samantha Issac
Samantha is a graduate of Medicine with masters in Public Health. Most of her writings are in medicinal tools, technology, and treatments. In addition to that, she is a freelance healthcare writer based in the USA.


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