Late dinner promotes the onset of diabetes and obesity

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Certain habits can favor diseases like diabetes and obesity. Among them: a bad habit at dinner.

Hours of work, departures, obligations. Dinner time varies according to each person's habits. Sometimes eating late, which can disrupt sleep. But that's not all: this bad habit would also increase the risk of developing diabetes or obesity. This is what a new study reveals in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. To reach this conclusion, scientists at John Hopkins University in the United States formulated the first hypothesis. "We assume that eating a late dinner changes metabolism in a way that promotes obesity." They then looked at how the body metabolizes food based on dinner time.

Late dinner: blood sugar is higher and the amount of fat burned is less

To do this, the researchers followed 10 healthy men and 10 women. Participants used to go to bed between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. During this experience, the volunteers slept at fixed times: they went to bed at 11 p.m. and woke up at 7 a.m. the next morning. Scientists asked them to eat a meal at 6 p.m. one day, and the same dish at 10 p.m. another day. In these two situations, participants still had to go to bed at 11 p.m.

The results of this study revealed that the volunteers' blood sugar level was higher at bedtime when food was taken late, at 10 p.m. Another finding by the researchers was that the amount of fat burned was less than when the gap between dinner and bedtime was five hours.

Eating dinner late increases the risk of diabetes and obesity.

"On average, the post-dinner glucose spike was 18% higher and the amount of fat burned was 10% less" compared to the 6 p.m. dinner, said Chenjuan Gu, lead author of the study. These metabolic changes were more pronounced in people who were used to going to bed early.

Conclusion: "late dinner induces nocturnal glucose intolerance". Furthermore, this bad habit reduces the oxidation and mobilization of fatty acids, especially in those who sleep early. The researchers indicate that these effects could promote the onset of diabetes and obesity, if this habit is repeated in the long term. The reason is simple: ingested sugars and fats do not have time to be eliminated by the body.

Scientists still noted that more studies, including a larger sample, are needed to confirm the results and see if these effects persist over time. Other research would also determine if these effects are related to the behavior or biological rhythm of each individual.

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