Eating while we stay up to browse the internet or watch a late film is likely to be contributing to rising obesity levels.
The warning comes after tests on mice. One group were allowed to eat only during an eight-hour period, while a second group could graze on what they wanted all day and night.
Researchers found that even though the two groups were eating about the same amount of calories, those who ate at set times during the day did not become obese. They suggest that those who ate when they wanted to; gained weight because they disrupted their body clock – and they believe the same principle may apply to humans. At the end of their study, the mice that ate all day and night had 70 per cent more fatty deposits than the time-restricted group.
At certain times of day the liver, intestines and muscles are at peak efficiency, while at other times they are ‘sleeping’. Every organ has a clock. Those metabolic cycles are critical.
When we eat throughout the day and night, it can throw off those normal metabolic cycles.
Eating patterns have changed in recent years as people have more reasons to stay up into the night.