Posted on Jul 19, 2023, 4 p.m.
According to a study led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and INSERM France recently published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, early risers who eat breakfast before 8 AM have a 59% decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who eat breakfast after 9 AM.
Type 2 diabetes is linked to a variety of modifiable risk factors such as smoking, being sedentary, and maintaining an unhealthy diet. The findings from this study show that we can reduce the risk of diabetes by changing what we eat and when we eat it, this was the main conclusion of a study in which ISGlobal, an institute supported by “la Caixa” Foundation took part what followed over 100,000 participants in a French cohort for around 7 years.
"We know that meal timing plays a key role in regulating circadian rhythms and glucose and lipid control, but few studies have investigated the relationship between meal timing or fasting and type 2 diabetes," says Anna Palomar-Cros, ISGlobal researcher and first author of the study.
This study investigated the associations between meal timing and frequency and the incidence of type 2 diabetes among 103,312 adults enrolled in the French NutriNet-Sante Cohort who filled out dietary records of the timing of their meals and what they ate/drank over a 24-hour period on 3 non-consecutive days. The researchers averaged the dietary records for the first 2 years of follow-up and assessed participant health over the following years for an average of 7 years.
Analysis revealed that there were 963 new cases of type 2 diabetes during the study period, and the risk of developing the disease was significantly higher in those who ate breakfast after 9 AM on a regular basis compared to those who ate before 8 AM.
"Biologically, this makes sense, as skipping breakfast is known to affect glucose and lipid control, as well as insulin levels," explains Palomar-Cros. “This is consistent with two meta-analyses that conclude that skipping breakfast increases the risk of type 2 diabetes,” she adds.
Eating a late dinner after 10 PM also appeared to increase the risk, while eating more often, about 5 times per day, was associated with a lower disease incidence. Prolonged fasting was found to be only beneficial when it was done by eating an early breakfast before 8 AM and eating an early dinner before 7 PM.
“Our results suggest that a first meal before 8 am and a last meal before 7 pm may help reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes," concludes Manolis Kogevinas, ISGlobal researcher and co-author of the study. In fact, the same ISGlobal team has already provided evidence of the association between an early dinner and a lower risk of breast or prostate cancer in previous research.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.
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