According to a study by the Endocrine Society’s annual meet in LA, eating later in the day may contribute to weight gain and eventually obesity.
As per the lead author Adnin Zaman, M.D of the University of Colorado in Denver said that the previous studies were taken into account which suggested that later timing of eating and sleeping are related to obesity. He said that few studies assessed both meal and sleep timing in adults and correlated it to weight gain and obesity but it was unclear whether eating later had any effect on the higher body fat percentage.
The study mapped three types of technology to record participants’ sleep, physical activity and eating patterns. “It has been challenging to apply sleep and circadian science to medicine due to a lack of methods for measuring daily patterns of human behavior,” Zaman said. “We used a novel set of methods for simultaneous measurement of daily sleep, physical activity, and meal timing patterns that could be used to identify persons at risk for increased weight gain.”
The study took place for a week and included 31 overweight and obese adults, with an average age of 36 years. They were enrolled in a program where they were restricted to eating at only certain hours of the day.
Participants wore an activPAL electronic device which measured how much time they spent in physical and sedentary activities. Actiwatch was used to assesses their sleeping and waking patterns. Participants were supposed to use a phone app called MealLogger to photograph and time stamp all meals and snacks throughout the day.
The researchers found that participants consumed food throughout an 11-hour timeframe during the day and slept for about 7 hours a night. The participants who ate later in the day and slept later than those who finished their meals earlier had a higher body mass index as well as greater body fat.
The findings of the study suggest that eating earlier in the day and sleeping on time helps reduce the risk of obesity.