Is the jig up for intermittent fasting? Skipping breakfast may RAISE risk of diabetes, global study suggests
- A new study suggested that eating breakfast after 9 am increased diabetes risk
- Eating dinner after 10 pm was also associated with a higher likelihood
- READ MORE: Intermittent fasting is no better than simple calorie counting
Intermittent fasting has been all the rage in recent years, but a new study suggests skipping breakfast could lead to long-term health issues.
The global research found that those who ate breakfast later had a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
Whereas the Spanish and French researchers noted that those who opted for breakfast before 8 am reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 59 percent.
What’s more, eating a later dinner also appeared to increase the likelihood of the condition.
A new study published last week suggests that eating meals later, or skipping them entirely, could increase the risk of type 2 diabetes
The study appears to clash with recent research, which has pointed to intermittent fasting, one of its hallmarks being skipping breakfast, lowering the risk of several chronic health conditions, including diabetes.
Intermittent fasting has also been linked to lower blood sugar, which helps burn fat and reduce disease risk.
‘We know that meal timing plays a key role in regulating circadian rhythms and glucose and lipid control, but few studies have investigated the relationship between meal timing or fasting and type 2 diabetes,’ said Dr Anna Palomar-Cros, first author of the study.
The research team evaluated more than 100,000 adults, 79 percent of whom were women.
It’s unclear if they had underlying risk factors for diabetes, such as age, weight, and other health conditions.
Participants recorded online what they ate and drank over a 24-hour period across three non-consecutive days, as well as when they ate each meal.
Intermittent fasting may raise your risk of an early death
A study of 24,000 Americans over 40 found those who ate one meal per day were 30 percent more likely to die from any cause in 15 years than those who ate three.
Researchers then averaged these for the first two years of follow-up and looked at participants’ health over an average of seven years.
The researchers recorded nearly 1,000 new cases of type 2 diabetes during the study. They found that the risk was 59 percent higher in the group who regularly ate breakfast after 9 am compared to those who opted for an earlier mealtime.
‘Biologically, this makes sense, as skipping breakfast is known to affect glucose and lipid control, as well as insulin levels,’ Dr Palomar-Cros said.
Eating dinner after 10 pm also carried a greater risk, and those who ate more frequently, on average five times a day, had lower disease incidence.
This could suggest that popular intermittent fasting plans, which involve skipping entire meals, namely breakfast, could lead to adverse health outcomes.
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or resists insulin, a hormone that regulars the amount of glucose, or sugar, in the blood.
While type 1 diabetes is believed to be caused by an autoimmune reaction and develops early in life, type 2 diabetes develops over the course of several years from modifiable lifestyle factors, such as diet and weight.
The research goes directly against other recent studies that have suggested intermittent fasting can lower the likelihood of developing diabetes.
In a study published last year in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, for example, researchers studied 36 diabetic participants over the course of three months. They found that nearly 90 percent, including those taking insulin, were able to lower the amount of diabetes medication they took.
Additionally, a 2017 study found that two weeks of intermittent fasting led to significant weight loss, as well as improved glucose levels.
This new study was published last week in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
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