A study found that intermittent fasting can actually have detrimental health effects.
Popular with many celebrities, this diet involves restricting food intake for a period of time.
But new research shows that people who eat one meal a day and skip meals are associated with death from all causes.
Researchers at the University of Tennessee have found that skipping breakfast increases your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, and skipping lunch or dinner increases your chances of dying from any cause.
People who ate three meals a day but had at least two meals less than 4.5 hours apart were also more likely to die from any cause.
Researchers suggest this is because skipping meals means people consume more in a short period of time, which can overload the metabolism with glucose. did.
The study found that 40% of participants ate less than three meals a day.
This happens as intermittent fasting becomes an increasingly common diet, noted Dr. Yumbo Sun, lead author in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.
“At a time when intermittent fasting is widely touted as a solution for weight loss, metabolic health, and disease prevention, our research is important for the majority of American adults who eat fewer than three meals each day.” she said.
“Our research found that people who ate only one meal a day were more likely to die than those who ate more.
“Among them, participants who skip breakfast are more likely to develop fatal cardiovascular disease, and those who skip lunch or dinner have an increased risk of death from all causes.
“Based on these findings, we recommend eating at least two to three spread meals throughout the day.”
A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics evaluated data from more than 24,000 Americans over the age of 40.
People who eat less than three meals a day are more likely to smoke, drink more, be younger, be male, be non-Hispanic black, be less educated, have lower family incomes, and be food insecure. , tend to eat a lot of low-nutrition foods and snacks. , and lower overall energy intake.
Dr. Wei Bao, principal investigator in the Department of Epidemiology, University of Iowa School of Public Health, says skipping meals often means expending more energy at once.
Doing so increases the burden of regulating glucose metabolism and can worsen metabolism.
He said this could explain the association with eating at shorter intervals.
“Our findings are based on observations drawn from public data and do not imply causality. Nonetheless, what we observed has implications for metabolism.
“Our study contributes to much-needed evidence for an association between feeding behavior and mortality in the context of meal timing and length of the daily eating period.”