Study finds people who eat a late dinner may gain weight

Font Size:

Eating a late dinner may contribute to weight gain and high blood sugar, according to a new study.

More than 2.1 billion adults are estimated to be overweight or suffer from obesity that makes health complications such as diabetes and high blood pressure more likely.

Previous studies have suggested that there is a link between consuming calories later in the day and obesity and metabolic syndrome.

According to co-author Dr Jonathan Jun, of Hopkins University, this new study sheds light on how eating a late dinner worsens glucose tolerance and reduces the amount of fat burned.

“The effect of late eating varies greatly between people and depends on their usual bedtime,” Dr Jun explained. “This shows that some people might be more vulnerable to late eating than others.

“If the metabolic effects we observed with a single meal keep occurring chronically, then late eating could lead to consequences such as diabetes or obesity.”

The researchers studied 20 healthy volunteers (10 men and 10 women) to see how they metabolised dinner eaten at 10pm compared to 6pm.

The volunteers all went to bed at 11pm.

The researchers found that blood sugar levels were higher, and the amount of ingested fat burned was lower with the later dinner, even when the same meal was provided at the two different times.

“On average, the peak glucose level after late dinner was about 18 per cent higher, and the amount of fat burned overnight decreased by about 10 per cent compared to eating an earlier dinner,” explained study author Dr Chenjuan Gu.

“The effects we have seen in healthy volunteers might be more pronounced in people with obesity or diabetes, who already have a compromised metabolism.”

This is not the first study to show effects of late eating, but it is one of the most detailed.

Participants wore activity trackers, had blood sampling every hour while staying in a lab, underwent sleep studies and body fat scans, and ate food that contained non-radioactive labels so that the rate of fat burning (oxidation) could be determined.

“We still need to do more experiments to see if these effects continue over time, and if they are caused more by behaviour (such as sleeping soon after a meal) or by the body’s circadian rhythms,” Dr Jun said.

What time do you usually eat dinner?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

Join
By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy

RELATED LINKS

Why you need the right amount of zinc in your diet

Often overlooked, zinc is an important mineral that may even reverse vision loss.

Does eating a big brekkie burn more calories?

Research shows breakfast may play a bigger role in our health than previously thought.

There’s a case for moderate drinking, but the keyword is moderate

Only the lightest drinkers get any benefit from alcohol, research finds.

Written by Ben

9 Comments

Total Comments: 9
  1. 0
    0

    “What time do you usually eat dinner?”

    Around 7.00pm. Since we retired we have adjusted our eating habits. The main meal of the day is around 1.00pm and the evening meal is a light meal. We have found that as we are less active that a heavy evening meal interferes with our sleep patterns. If this helps keep our weight in check then that is an added bonus.

    • 0
      0

      Same her – I always have late light breakfast, and main meal around 1.00pm. Then have light meal around 5-6.00pm.
      A big bonus is that since I’ve been eating dinner earlier, I have been sleeping much better.

  2. 0
    0

    There has been much research on this topic and I understand that the best time to have all your food intake for the day is between the hours of 11am and 7pm. If you stick these hours you can eat whatever you like, within reason!

    • 0
      0

      I’ve been doing that since January and have lost some weight. (Not a lot, but as much as needed.) It’s hard at first, but you soon get into the habit.

  3. 0
    0

    Usually between 6 and 7pm, but sometimes as late as 8pm, but I’m overweight because of a medical condition.

  4. 0
    0

    In History it has been said breakfast like a king, lunch like a lord & tea (dinner) like a pauper!

  5. 0
    0

    In History it has been said breakfast like a king, lunch like a lord & tea (dinner) like a pauper!

  6. 0
    0

    I eat when I am hungry. People get confused about being thirsty and hungry, just eat low calorie foods and not too much to keep weight on track.

    • 0
      0

      I used to eat very little for breakfast and lunch but a big dinner and was skinny as, now I eat moderate breakfast (lots of fruit), and a big salad for lunch and light dinner, and have no weight issues though not as skinny as I used to be I am normal weight. So I think it is about the amount you eat over the whole day and whether the food is high or low calorie and how big the portions are.


FACEBOOK COMMENTS



SPONSORED LINKS

continue reading

Resources

The top-selling-souvenir from every country in the world

Do you buy souvenirs to remember your overseas holidays? If so, we imagine you have been looking at these very...

COVID-19

ACCC to keep a keen eye on travel issues this year

Australia's consumer watchdog expects to have its hands busy dealing with COVID-affected travel complaints this year. In his annual address...

Australia

Cruisers turn to superyachts to satisfy their cruise cravings

Typically, Australia is one of, if not, the biggest cruise market in the world. It wasn't so long ago that...

Accommodation

Tassie's top 5 Airbnbs

Tasmania does Airbnbs a little differently. Firstly, many stays boast perfect - or very nearly perfect - ratings. Secondly, there...

Destinations

The world's first 'museum of hangovers' has opened in Croatia

The Museum of Hangovers - set up, inevitably, by students - is an homage to pounding headaches, alcoholic antics and...

COVID-19

Australian border closure extended until June

Earlier this week, health minister Greg Hunt confirmed that the "human biosecurity emergency period", which enabled the government to place...

Destinations

International borders could reopen in June 2021

The Business Council of Australia (BCA) is waving a big stick at state and territory governments, with a plan to...

Australia

Five epic Aussie adventures

With international travel on pause, there is no shortage of epic adventures for those lucky enough to be stuck Down...

LOADING MORE ARTICLE...