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Having Late Breakfast Can Put You At Risk of Obesity

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  • Being an evening person is linked to higher body mass index (BMI)
  • Having late breakfast may increase Body Mass Index (BMI) leading to overweight and obesity
  • Being a morning person can lower BMI and reduce risk of overweight and obesity

Having Late Breakfast Can Put You At Risk of Obesity

People with type 2 diabetes who wake up late and have a late breakfast might have a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) that can lead to overweight or obesity, reveals a new study.

Obesity is a common risk factor seen among people with Type 2 diabetes. The study was published in the journal Diabetic Medicine.


Previous studies show that an evening preference person who wakes up late and goes to bed late was associated with an increased risk for obesity. However, there is no evidence in regard to this phenomenon among people with Type 2 diabetes.

The research study was led by Dr. Sirimon Reutrakul, associate professor of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine and her team.

Who is at Risk for Obesity? A Morning or Evening Person?

The research team wanted to investigate as to who was associated with an increased risk for higher BMI- whether a morning or evening preference people with Type 2 diabetes and what factors contributed to the increased risk.

Reutrakul and her colleagues recruited around 210 non-shift workers who had Type 2 diabetes and were living in Thailand.

To know whether the participant has a morning or evening preference was assessed using a questionnaire. In this, questions were focused on preferred time for waking up and going to bed; time of day spent exercising; and time of day spent engaged in mental activity such as working, reading, etc.

The scores range from 13 to 55, indicating extreme evening preference and the later indicating extreme morning preference.

Participants with an evening preference scored less than 45, and those with morning preference scored 45 or higher. Every participant's weight was measured, and BMI was calculated.

Self-report and questionnaire measured sleep duration and quality of sleep. They were then interviewed about their meal timings, and daily caloric intake was determined by self-reported one-day food recalls.

On an average, self-reported sleep duration was about 5.5 hours/night and participants consumed around 1,103 kcal/day.

Various Factors linked to Obesity Risk

All participants were found to be overweight, as their average BMI was 28.4 kg/m2. Also, about 97 of them had evening preference, and 113 had morning preference.

Participants with evening preference ate breakfast between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m, while those with morning preference ate between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.

The mealtime for participants with morning preference was found to be much earlier when compared with the meal timing of participants with evening preference, which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and the last meal.

The research team observed that having more evening preference was linked to higher BMI. However, higher BMI was not linked to caloric intake, lunch and dinner times.

Also, morning preference was associated with earlier breakfast time and lower BMI by 0.37 kg/m2.

"Later breakfast time is a novel risk factor associated with a higher BMI among people with Type 2 diabetes. It remains to be investigated if eating breakfast earlier will help with body weight in this population," said Reutrakul.

Reutrakul speculates that eating a late dinner can alter the internal biological clock that plays a key role in circadian regulation.

Previous studies show that circadian misalignment can lead to dysregulation of energy metabolism.

Obesity and Diabetes Mellitus

A person is said to be overweight or obese when their weight is greater than what's considered healthy for the height.

Overweight is when the Body Mass Index (BMI) is >25, and a person is said to be obese when the BMI is >30. Obesity is a threat not only for adults but also for children and adolescents.
  • Globally, about 2.7 billion adults are likely to suffer from overweight and obesity by 2025
  • One in three adult population is overweight, and one in 10 is found to be obese
  • Globally, obesity is the fifth leading cause of deaths
  • India is second only to China in diabetes prevalence
  • In 2011, about 61.3 million people in India were found to have diabetes, which is expected to 101.2 million by 2030, according to the International Diabetes Federation
Making changes in diet, losing weight and regular physically activity can prevent an individual from becoming overweight or obese or diabetic.

Source: Medindia

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