Late eaters are more likely to gain weight, as study results show

Late eaters who have their largest meals after 6 p.m. are more likely to put on weight because they consume MORE calories overall and eat less healthily, according to study results

  • According to a study of 1,200, the total caloric intake is higher in people who eat later
  • Science has suggested in the past that people are hungrier later in the day
  • Hungry people could make worse decisions about what to eat and what to eat

According to one study, people who eat most of their calories after 6 p.m. tend to eat less healthily and eat more overall.

Researchers said late eaters are more likely to gain weight because they tend to get extremely hungry during the day.

This makes them more prone to binge eating, bad eating decisions, and junk food in the evening.

While those who have their biggest meals earlier in the day are often too full to stuff their faces at night.

People who eat their main meal later in the evening tend to eat more overall and eat less healthily, research has shown (archive image)

For the latest study, researchers from Ulster University in Northern Ireland looked at more than 1,100 adults as part of the UK's National Diet and Nutrition Survey.

The nationwide survey began in 2008 and collects detailed information on food consumption, nutrient intake and nutritional status.

The volunteers between the ages of 19 and 64 were asked about their meal times and their choice of dishes.

The researchers found that those who ate 30 percent or less of their food at night consumed fewer total calories overall than either group.

While those who ate half their calories at night were more likely to gain weight and consume foods with little nutrition.


One study found that late evening meals can lead to high blood sugar levels and increase the risk of obesity.

Scientists found that eating just before bedtime made the body less able to process all of the nutrients and glucose.

As a result, people burn ten percent less fat overnight when they eat at 10 p.m. compared to when they have dinner at 6 p.m.

The researchers looked at 20 healthy volunteers, ten men and ten women, to see how overnight mealtime affected digestion.

The volunteers all went to bed at 11 p.m. and their body's metabolism was examined throughout the night while they slept in a special laboratory bedroom.

Activity trackers provided data on the subjects while blood samples were taken every hour throughout the night.

Body fat scans were also done, and participants were only given foods with specific labels that the scientists could use to track the rate of fat burning.

All data were compiled and published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

The study found that if a person had dinner just an hour before bedtime, blood sugar levels were higher and the amount of fat consumed was lower.

The study author Dr. Chenjuan Gu of Johns Hopkins University in the United States said, “On average, the maximum glucose level after late dinner was about 18 percent higher and the amount of fat burned overnight was about ten percent less than eating an earlier dinner. & # 39;

The quality of nutrition was assessed by evaluating the food diaries kept by the participants against the nutrient-rich food index, which classifies and rates foods according to the ratio of the important nutrients they contain to their energy content.

Lead researcher Judith Baird of the Nutritional Innovation Center for Nutrition and Health (NICHE) in Ulster said, "Our results suggest that consuming a smaller proportion (of their calories) in the evening may be linked to a lower daily energy intake, consuming more of the Energy intake in the evening can be associated with a lower quality factor for nutrition. "

The timing of energizing can be an important modifiable behavior that needs to be considered in future nutritional interventions.

"More analysis is now needed to investigate whether the distribution of energy intake and / or the types of foods consumed in the evening are linked to measurements of body composition and cardiometabolic health."

The results are to be presented at the European and International Obesity Conference (ECO).

It comes after a January study found that people who skipped breakfast were more likely to have high BMI.

Scientists found that people who ate three and a half hours later on the weekend had a BMI 1.3 units higher than those who stuck to their routine.

This remained true despite the quality of their diet, how long they slept, or how much they exercised.

Researchers at the University of Barcelona, ​​who are behind the study, say that our biological clocks, called circadian systems, prepare the metabolism so that food is broken down at certain times.

Cells are programmed in this way so they know when to use energy to absorb or use certain nutrients.

The metabolism becomes sluggish in breaking down food if caught unprepared by eating at different times. That seems to be the case lead to the storage of extra fat.

The researchers surveyed more than 1,100 students from Spain and Mexico to come to the conclusion.

They asked participants when they usually ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner on weekdays and weekends.

Almost two-thirds ate meals an hour later on their days off, and breakfast was the latest meal and tended to become brunch.

The study found that the greater the time difference between weekday and weekend meals, the more likely it is that students are overweight.

Eating three and a half hours later on the weekend appeared to cause the most extreme weight gain, equivalent to a Saturday brunch at 11:30 a.m. versus a Friday breakfast at 8:00 a.m.

People who ate this late on the weekend had a higher BMI of 1.3 units than participants who ate around the same time on weekdays and weekends.

Dropping 1.3 BMI units is the equivalent of a person 170 cm tall and weighing 14 kg (90 kg) losing half a stone (4 kg).


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