Habitual late night eating linked to high blood sugar and obesity risk
Researchers have found in a new study that eating a late dinner may contribute to high blood sugar and weight gain.The study has been published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & 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 sugar 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 oxidation could be determined.
Some studies suggest that consuming calories later in the day is associated with obesity and metabolic syndrome.The researchers hypothesized that eating a late dinner alters substrate metabolism during sleep in a manner that promotes obesity.
Over 2.1 billion adults are estimated to have overweight or obesity which make health complications like diabetes with high blood sugar and high blood pressure more likely. .
"This study sheds new 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," said the study's corresponding author Jonathan C. Jun, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, M.d. "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 metabolized dinner eaten at 10 p.m. compared to 6 p.m. The volunteers all went to bed at 11 p.m. 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 percent higher, and the amount of fat burned overnight decreased by about 10 percent compared to eating an earlier dinner. The effects we have seen in healthy volunteers might be more pronounced in people with obesity or diabetes, who already have a compromised metabolism," said the study's first author Chenjuan Gu, M.D., Ph.D., of the Johns Hopkins University.
"We still need to do more experiments to see if these effects continue over time, and if they are caused more by behavior such as sleeping soon after a meal or by the body's circadian rhythms," Jun said.
For further reference log on to:
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, dgaa354, https://doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa354