San Diego researchers also found that Americans eat erratically, and can consume from four to 15 meals and snacks per day every day. This may be why, obesity and type 2 diabetes went rampant in the U.S.
Yet, all hope is not lost as study authors say that if people started fasting at night longer, they would see immediate improvements of their health and could also shed some pounds in the process.
Researchers based their study on data about 150 American adults who said they weren’t on a diet or working in night shifts. Study participants were monitored for three weeks. The findings revealed that most participants ate until late at night and fast for fewer than nine hours per day.
Study authors also found that less than 25 percent of their daily calorie intake was consumed before 12:00 p.m., while more than 33 percent of their calorie intake was eaten after 18:00. It seems that many Americans prefer to have an abundant dinner and a frugal breakfast or even skip the latter.
Surprisingly, although most volunteers said that they consumed three meals per day, that wasn’t true in most cases, since most of them ate and drank all day long. According to the study, 10 percent of participants reported eating 4 meals and snacks a day, while 10 percent said that ate and drink 15 times per day. Fewer than 10 percent said that they fasted for over 12 straight hours.
The study was published Sept. 24 in the medical journal Cell Metabolism.
In 12 percent of cases, participants consumed more than 1,900 calories after 21:00. And, those calories were a bonus that greatly contributed to participants’ weight gain and metabolic disorders.
Earlier this year, another Salk study showed that all lab mice that were allowed to munch all day long eventually became obese. On the other hand, mice that were forced to fast 15 hours per day and eat for nine hours maintained their weight during the experiment.
The latter group also had lower cholesterol levels, lower risk of diabetes, and reduced inflammation than the animals allowed to eat whenever they wanted to. Researchers said that both groups of mice were given the same daily calorie intake, but the results were completely different.
Salk scientists recommend 10 to 12 hours of fasting every night even though you may stick with your current calorie intake. Researchers believe that fasting can help the body regenerate and boost its ability of burning the extra calories.
Image Source: Wikipedia