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Video: Changing Weekend Meals Increases The Risk Of Obesity
Changing weekend meals increases the risk of obesity
Participants' body mass index increased when weekend meals were regularly 3.5 hours late.
Photo: CC0 Public Domain /
Scientists from the University of Barcelona have found a link between changes in meal times on weekends and the risk of obesity. The research results are published in Nutrients.
The authors analyzed the association between body mass index (BMI) and eating disorders on weekends versus other days. This new marker, which scientists call "food jetlag", combines a shift in meals - breakfast, lunch, and dinner - over the weekend to a later time.
The study involved 1,106 young Spaniards and Mexicans aged 18 to 22 years. Independent factors such as nutritional quality, physical activity level, social jetlag (the difference in bedtime between weekends and workdays) and chronotype (natural predisposition to a particular sleep schedule) were examined.
“Our results show that changing the timing of three meals a day over the weekend is associated with obesity. The 3.5 hour difference in mealtime may have the greatest impact on BMI. After that, the risk of obesity increases: according to our observations, the BMI increased by 1.3 kg / m² with a delay in eating at 3.5 hours,”said María Fernanda Zerón Rugerio, co-author of the study.
Scientists believe that the link between changes in mealtime and obesity is due to a chronic disorder - a lack of synchronization between the body's internal time and social time.
“Our biological clock is like a machine and is ready for the same physiological and metabolic responses at the same time of day, every day of the week. Fixed eating and sleeping patterns help the body to organize and stimulate energy homeostasis. Therefore, people with a large change in the schedule have a higher risk of obesity,”said Trinitat Cambras, co-director of the study.