According to a recent study, weight gain may also be caused due to eating later in the day.
Previous studies have suggested that later timing of eating and sleeping are related to obesity, the lead author, Mr. Adnin Zaman. “However, few studies have assessed both meal and sleep timing in adults with obesity, and it is not clear whether eating later in the day is associated with shorter sleep duration or higher body fat,” she also said.
“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,” Mr. 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 was spread over a weak and was comprised of thirty-one overweight adults having an average age of thirty-six and 90% of them were women. They were only allowed to eat during specific hours of the day.
The participants had to wear activPAL, an electronic device on their thigh. The device measured their time spent in sedentary and physical activities. They also had to wear an Actiwatch to assess their sleep pattern. Furthermore, they were to use MealLogger, a phone app that would photograph and time their meals and snacks during the day.
The researchers concluded that on average, the participants ate food throughout the 11-hours of the day and slept for almost seven hours. They also said that those who ate late slept late but almost for the same time as those who ate early. Researchers said that eating late caused higher body mass index and greater body fat.
“We used a novel set of methods to show that individuals with overweight or obesity may be eating later into the day,” Mr. Zaman said. “These findings support our overall study, which will look at whether restricting the eating window to earlier on in the day will lower obesity risk.”
“Given that wearable activity monitors and smartphones are now ubiquitous in our modern society, it may soon be possible to consider the timing of behaviors across 24 hours in how we approach the prevention and treatment of obesity,” Zaman further added.