Scientists from King’s College London and the University of São Paulo have conducted a study monitoring the effects of when you eat, rather than what you eat on overall health.
The study has found that there could be a link between irregular eating and meal-skipping and an increased risk of metabolic syndrome, which includes high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and obesity. The researchers have since called for more research to be conducted looking into the effects of Chrono-nutrition on people’s health.
Chrono-nutrition is the concept of eating foods at certain times of the day in order to give your body the correct energy levels it needs and prevent it from storing unnecessary fat.
The study’s co-author, Dr Gerda Pot commented: “Whilst we have a much better understanding today of what we should be eating, we are left with the question as to which meal should provide us with the most energy.”
“Although the evidence suggests eating more calories later in the evening is associated with obesity, we are still far from understanding whether our energy intake should be distributed equally across the day or whether breakfast should contribute the greatest proportion of energy.”
It is thought that people’s eating habits have become more relaxed over the last decade due to an increase in shift work, an increase in food chains offering on-the-go options and “social jetlag”, where many of us live by social clocks rather than our body clocks.
The scientists also suggested we need further research into “with whom we eat”, and point to evidence that regular family meals contribute to healthy eating habits in children and adolescents.
So, until further evidence is presented, perhaps we’ll stick to the age-old practice of eating breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.