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Eating Breakfast Later May Increase Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Obesity is a risk factor for diabetes. A recent study suggests that eating breakfast later in the day may put people at a higher risk of obesity and type-2 diabetes.


Participants in the study included 201 non-shift workers with type-2 diabetes, living in Thailand. The researchers used a questionnaire to determine whether the participants preferred mornings or evenings, by asking about preferred time for waking up and going to bed. They also enquired about time of day they preferred to exercise and time of day preferred to spend on mental activity. Scores ranged from 13 (extreme evening preference) to 55 (extreme morning preference). A score of less than 45 was considered an evening preference, while more than 45 was considered a morning preference.

The researchers also asked about meal timing and daily caloric intake. They took weight  measurements, calculated BMI, and measured sleep duration and quality by self-report and questionnaire.

The researchers found that average sleep duration was 5.5 hours per night and that participants consumed and average of 1,103 calories per day. The average BMI among all participants was 28.4 kg/m2, which falls in the overweight range. Ninety-seven of the participants had evening preference and 113 had morning preference. Morning preference participants ate breakfast between 7 and 8:30 AM, while evening preference participants ate breakfast between 7:30 and 9 AM. 

After examining the data, the researchers found that having an evening preference was associated with an average 0.37 kg/m2 higher BMI than having a morning preference. They found no association between caloric intake or lunch and dinner times and higher BMI.

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago conducted the study. It was published on April 13, 2018, in Diabetic Medicine.

Previous studies have found that eating breakfast may curb hunger throughout the rest of the day. Some studies have also found that it may contribute to weight loss, although the results regarding weight loss are still inconclusive.
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