Many of us know that eating late is bad. A new study says that eating late at night could make us sick. Researchers say that eating a few hours before bed means there is a higher risk of obesity. The researchers are from Brigham and Women's Hospital, which is a teaching university linked to Harvard Medical School in the USA. The research team looked into why eating late increased the risk of gaining weight. It found that eating late increases hunger by as much as two times, so we eat more. When we eat earlier, we are less hungry, so we eat less food. Later eaters also eat unhealthier food, especially fast food. Finally, late eaters move around less before sleeping. This means they do not burn off calories.
The study was a small scale one. The researchers looked at the eating habits of five women and 11 men between the ages of 25 and 59. All of the participants had a high body mass index (BMI). They were all in the overweight or obesity BMI range. All of the people were in good health. They ate breakfast regularly and exercised a little. For two weeks before each test, the participants did not drink coffee or alcohol. They also did not smoke or take any medicine or drugs. They all had to keep a sleep diary so researchers knew their sleeping and waking times. Researcher Professor Kelly C. Allison said: "I think what the study is telling us is that it probably really is beneficial to stop eating late into the night."