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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Is there a wrong time to eat ?

For long, people have been told that you should eat properly, eat at correct intervals, give enough time between dinner and when you go to sleep, and other such health tips. A lot of them get dis-regarded like many other health tips. However, research is showing that the time periods when you eat can have an effect on obesity / the tendency to put on weight. Such research would be very relevant to people who work hours where their food timings are unbalanced, such as people who get off a late shift, and then have to compress their dinner and sleep timings (link to article):

Late-night snackers are more likely to gain weight, research suggests. A team from Northwestern University, Illinois, found that when you eat, not just how you eat, could make a big difference. Scientists found that when mice ate at unusual hours, they put on twice as much weight, despite exercising and eating as much as others.
The findings may have implications for people worried about their weight.
"How or why a person gains weight is very complicated, but it is clearly not just calories in and calories out," said Fred Turek, from the Northwestern's Center for Sleep and Circadian Biology, where the research took place. The scientists now hope they can find out more about how the process works. It is thought that sleep, hormones and body temperature all play a part in how we gain weight.

Given that the study was carried out on mice (even though mice are the standard test bed for such research), it would take more research to see the applicability of such a study on humans. However, overall, eating on a regular pattern has always been claimed to be beneficial to health.

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