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Study: Do late meals promote faster weight gain?

Study: Do late meals promote faster weight gain?


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Late eating a day seems to be linked to obesity

Does it make a difference in weight at what time of the day we eat our food? Researchers have now found that meals later in the day actually contribute to weight gain.

A recent study by the University of Colorado shows that eating later in the day contributes to weight gain. The results of the study were presented at ENDO 2019, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society in New Orleans.

Does late eating affect weight?

Earlier studies have shown that later eating and sleeping are related to obesity, says study author Adnin Zaman from the University of Colorado in Denver. "However, only a few studies have assessed the timing of meals and when to sleep in obese adults, and it is not clear whether eating later in the day is associated with shorter sleep times or higher body fat," added the expert in a press release from Endocrine Society added.

What was examined?

The study used three different types of technology to record participants' sleep, physical activity, and eating habits. The researchers used a new set of methods for simultaneously measuring daily sleep, physical activity and the time of meals. In this way, people could be identified who were at risk of increased weight gain.

Ninety percent of the subjects were women

The study included 31 overweight and obese adults with an average age of 36 years. Ninety percent of the subjects were women participating in an ongoing weight loss study. In this study, a daily calorie restriction was compared to eating food at specific times. All participants wore a so-called activPAL device on their thighs during the study. This device measures how much time has been spent doing physical and sedentary work. In addition, the test subjects wore an Actiwatch, which evaluated the sleep / wake-up pattern of the participants. In addition, the test subjects were asked to use a special telephone app in order to take photos of all meals and snacks consumed during the day and to mark them at the time when they were consumed.

Late eating leads to a higher BMI

The researchers found that the subjects consumed food for an average of eleven hours during the day and slept for about seven hours a night. However, when people ate later in the day, they went to bed later. They slept about as much as those who had previously stopped eating. Later meal times were associated with a higher body mass index (BMI) and higher levels of body fat.
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Smartphones and activity monitors enable better examinations

"We used a novel set of methods to show that overweight or obese people eat later in the day," says study author Zaman. The results obtained help to assess whether restricting eating during the bright time of the day reduces the risk of obesity. Given that portable activity monitors and smartphones are ubiquitous in our modern society today, it could be possible in the near future to take into account the behavioral pattern of 24 hours in obesity prevention and treatment, explains Zaman. (as)

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