Does Time-Restricted Eating Work for Weight Loss?
Dec 31 2020
New research from the American Heart Association has confirmed that despite the rumours, consuming calories before 1pm does not have a positive impact on weight loss. The concept of time-restricted eating has gained momentum over the past year, with some health experts insisting it can help support weight loss in prediabetic and diabetic adults. The latest American Heart Association study suggests otherwise, with researchers reporting no difference in participants who consumed the majority of their daily calories before 1pm, versus those that consumed 50% after 5pm.
“We have wondered for a long time if when one eats during the day affects the way the body uses and stores energy," comments Nisa M. Maruthur, M.D., M.H.S, study author and an associate professor of medicine, epidemiology and nursing at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. "Most prior studies have not controlled the number of calories, so it wasn't clear if people who ate earlier just ate fewer calories. In this study, the only thing we changed was the time of day of eating."
No difference in weight loss or blood pressure
The study spanned for 12 weeks, with Maruthur and colleagues tracking the weight loss progress of more than 40 overweight adults. 21 participants adhered to a strict time-restricted eating pattern, with 80% of calories consumed before 1pm. A further 20 consumed all calories during 12-hour window, with half eaten after 5pm. All were fed the same pre-prepared, nutritionally balanced meals throughout the study. While both groups reported weight loss success neither was more significant than the other, a result that surprised the research team.
"We thought that the time-restricted group would lose more weight," says Maruthur. "Yet that didn't happen. We did not see any difference in weight loss for those who ate most of their calories earlier versus later in the day. We did not see any effects on blood pressure either."
Addressing a global health epidemic
With obesity now classed as a global epidemic by the World Health Organisation, new research into the condition could have significant implications for more than 1 billion adults around the world. In the United States more than 36% of adults are obese, while in the United Kingdom obesity affects around one in four adults and one in five children.
From obesity research to food safety, science is a key driver of global health advances. Find out more about the latest technologies being used to monitor and improve food safety in ‘Addressing Proper HACCP Implementation.’
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