Shun midnight snacking to ward off obesity

Shun midnight snacking to ward off obesity
Highlights

It is not just a high-fat diet, but the extended eating time - a consequence of people consuming midnight snacks - that may contribute to your body weight, a study co-authored by an Indian-origin scientist suggests.

New York: It is not just a high-fat diet, but the extended eating time - a consequence of people consuming midnight snacks - that may contribute to your body weight, a study co-authored by an Indian-origin scientist suggests.

Confining eating to an 8-12 hour period, as people did just a century ago, might stave off high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity, the findings showed. The authors demonstrated that predictable times of eating better synchronises the function of hundreds of genes in our body.

"These days, most of the advice is, 'you have to change nutrition, you have to eat a healthy diet'," noted corresponding author Satchidananda Panda, associate professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in the US. "But many people do not have access to healthy diets. So the question is, without access to a healthy diet, can they still practice time-restricted feeding and reap some benefit?" Panda added.

The new study showed the benefits of time restriction is surprisingly more profound than initially thought and can reverse obesity and diabetes in animal models. The researchers subjected nearly 400 mice, ranging from normal to obese, to various types of diets and lengths of time restrictions.

Regardless of whether their diets were high in fat, fat and sucrose or just fructose, mice that were given time restrictions of 9 to 12 hours - and consumed the same amount of daily calories as their unrestricted counterparts - gained less weight than the controls. The study appeared in the journal Cell Metabolism.

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