Eating late at night raises your risk of obesity by slowing your metabolism and making you hungrier the following day, a study suggests.
Lead author of the study Dr Nina Vujović, a trainee in circadian rhythms in health and disease, said: ‘In this study, we asked, “Does the time that we eat matter when everything else is kept consistent?”.
Avoiding a midnight snack and early breakfast may be the key to staying slim, another study indicates.
The researchers looked at 16 overweight or obese patients aged between 20 and 60.
Obesity also raises the risk of heart disease, which kills 647,000 people every year in the US - making it the number one cause of death.
Among children, research suggests that 70 per cent of obese youngsters have high blood pressure or raised cholesterol, which puts them at risk of heart disease.
They found that eating later in the day increased levels of the hormone grehlin the following day, which makes us crave food, especially sugary or salty snacks
When the patients ate later, they also burned calories more slowly and had tissue samples showing more fat growth
Senior study author Dr Frank Scheer, an expert in sleep and circadian disorders, said: ‘This study shows the impact of late versus early eating
Previous research has found eating late at night increases blood sugar levels – raising the risk of type 2 diabetes, the form linked to obesity
One poll in 2019 by ice cream brand Nightfood found that 83 per cent of Americans said they snack at least one night a week, and 20 per cent said they snack every night