Skip to main content

In recent times it seems more findings have come forth in regard to what we eat and how much weight we gain in regard to when we eat. I know, that might sound confusing but bear with me, perhaps the time of day you’re eating is influencing your weight in ways you otherwise would not be aware of?

The results of these findings were presented at the European and International Conference on Obesity, (ECOICO 2020) according to Medical News Today. It was quite an interesting study overall and has many blown away now that news of it is making headlines. You see, it seems people who consume most of their calories in the evening are facing more calories and a lower quality diet.

This study was led by Judith Baird, and it really highlights how the timing of our consumption of food can affect us. Sure, we tend to think that no matter what time as long as we’re watching our calories or trying to not overeat we’re doing well but that might not be the case. This study included around 1177 participants who were all adults between the ages of 19 and 64. They used data for it that was from the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey from the years 2012 all the way to 2017 and well, their results were interesting in many ways.

Eureka Alert wrote as follows on these findings:

Subjects were grouped into quartiles (4 equal groups of 25%) based on the proportion of their daily EI consumed after 6 pm, from the lowest with under 31.4%, through to the highest whose evening consumption accounted for more than 48.6% of their EI. Diet quality was assessed by scoring the food diaries kept by participants using the Nutrient Rich Food Index, which classifies and ranks foods according to the ratio of important nutrients they contain relative to their energy content.

Across the whole sample group, eating during the evening provided an average of almost 40% (39.8%) of daily EI. The authors found a significant variation in total EI across the different quartiles, with individuals in the lowest quartile of evening EI consuming fewer calories in total over the day than those in the other three quartiles.

Quality of diet also differed across the quartiles with participants who consumed the largest proportion of their EI in the evening having a significantly worse score on the Nutrient Rich Food Index than those in the rest of the sample groups.

The authors say: “Our results suggest that consuming a lower proportion of EI in the evening may be associated with a lower daily energy intake, while consuming a greater proportion of energy intake in the evening may be associated with a lower diet quality score.”

They conclude: “Timing of energy intake may be an important modifiable behaviour to consider in future nutritional interventions. Further analysis is now needed to examine whether the distribution of energy intake and/or the types of food consumed in the evening are associated with measures of body composition and cardiometabolic health.”

Basically, if we work to eat healthy foods and things of that nature we should also be keeping an eye on the time of day we’re eating. Sure, it might be easier overall to go all day without eating and only have dinner but that might not be the best option now that all of this is on the table. What do you think about these findings? Maybe after 6 pm, we should be kept far away from the fridge?