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Meal Frequency and Timing Are Associated with Changes in Body Mass Index in Adventist Health Study 2.
J Nutr. 2017 09; 147(9):1722-1728.JN

Abstract

Background:

Scientific evidence for the optimal number, timing, and size of meals is lacking.

Objective:

We investigated the relation between meal frequency and timing and changes in body mass index (BMI) in the Adventist Health Study 2 (AHS-2), a relatively healthy North American cohort.

Methods:

The analysis used data from 50,660 adult members aged ≥30 y of Seventh-day Adventist churches in the United States and Canada (mean ± SD follow-up: 7.42 ± 1.23 y). The number of meals per day, length of overnight fast, consumption of breakfast, and timing of the largest meal were exposure variables. The primary outcome was change in BMI per year. Linear regression analyses (stratified on baseline BMI) were adjusted for important demographic and lifestyle factors.

Results:

Subjects who ate 1 or 2 meals/d had a reduction in BMI per year (in kg · m-2 · y-1) (-0.035; 95% CI: -0.065, -0.004 and -0.029; 95% CI: -0.041, -0.017, respectively) compared with those who ate 3 meals/d. On the other hand, eating >3 meals/d (snacking) was associated with a relative increase in BMI (P < 0.001). Correspondingly, the BMI of subjects who had a long overnight fast (≥18 h) decreased compared with those who had a medium overnight fast (12-17 h) (P < 0.001). Breakfast eaters (-0.029; 95% CI: -0.047, -0.012; P < 0.001) experienced a decreased BMI compared with breakfast skippers. Relative to subjects who ate their largest meal at dinner, those who consumed breakfast as the largest meal experienced a significant decrease in BMI (-0.038; 95% CI: -0.048, -0.028), and those who consumed a big lunch experienced a smaller but still significant decrease in BMI than did those who ate their largest meal at dinner.

Conclusions:

Our results suggest that in relatively healthy adults, eating less frequently, no snacking, consuming breakfast, and eating the largest meal in the morning may be effective methods for preventing long-term weight gain. Eating breakfast and lunch 5-6 h apart and making the overnight fast last 18-19 h may be a useful practical strategy.

Authors+Show Affiliations

School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA. Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic; and.School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA.School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA.Institute of Endocrinology, Prague, Czech Republic.School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA; gfraser@llu.edu.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28701389

Citation

Kahleova, Hana, et al. "Meal Frequency and Timing Are Associated With Changes in Body Mass Index in Adventist Health Study 2." The Journal of Nutrition, vol. 147, no. 9, 2017, pp. 1722-1728.
Kahleova H, Lloren JI, Mashchak A, et al. Meal Frequency and Timing Are Associated with Changes in Body Mass Index in Adventist Health Study 2. J Nutr. 2017;147(9):1722-1728.
Kahleova, H., Lloren, J. I., Mashchak, A., Hill, M., & Fraser, G. E. (2017). Meal Frequency and Timing Are Associated with Changes in Body Mass Index in Adventist Health Study 2. The Journal of Nutrition, 147(9), 1722-1728. https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.116.244749
Kahleova H, et al. Meal Frequency and Timing Are Associated With Changes in Body Mass Index in Adventist Health Study 2. J Nutr. 2017;147(9):1722-1728. PubMed PMID: 28701389.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Meal Frequency and Timing Are Associated with Changes in Body Mass Index in Adventist Health Study 2. AU - Kahleova,Hana, AU - Lloren,Jan Irene, AU - Mashchak,Andrew, AU - Hill,Martin, AU - Fraser,Gary E, Y1 - 2017/07/12/ PY - 2016/11/18/received PY - 2016/12/21/revised PY - 2017/06/13/accepted PY - 2017/7/14/pubmed PY - 2017/9/14/medline PY - 2017/7/14/entrez KW - Adventist Health Study 2 KW - BMI KW - meal frequency KW - meal timing KW - weight control SP - 1722 EP - 1728 JF - The Journal of nutrition JO - J Nutr VL - 147 IS - 9 N2 - Background: Scientific evidence for the optimal number, timing, and size of meals is lacking.Objective: We investigated the relation between meal frequency and timing and changes in body mass index (BMI) in the Adventist Health Study 2 (AHS-2), a relatively healthy North American cohort.Methods: The analysis used data from 50,660 adult members aged ≥30 y of Seventh-day Adventist churches in the United States and Canada (mean ± SD follow-up: 7.42 ± 1.23 y). The number of meals per day, length of overnight fast, consumption of breakfast, and timing of the largest meal were exposure variables. The primary outcome was change in BMI per year. Linear regression analyses (stratified on baseline BMI) were adjusted for important demographic and lifestyle factors.Results: Subjects who ate 1 or 2 meals/d had a reduction in BMI per year (in kg · m-2 · y-1) (-0.035; 95% CI: -0.065, -0.004 and -0.029; 95% CI: -0.041, -0.017, respectively) compared with those who ate 3 meals/d. On the other hand, eating >3 meals/d (snacking) was associated with a relative increase in BMI (P < 0.001). Correspondingly, the BMI of subjects who had a long overnight fast (≥18 h) decreased compared with those who had a medium overnight fast (12-17 h) (P < 0.001). Breakfast eaters (-0.029; 95% CI: -0.047, -0.012; P < 0.001) experienced a decreased BMI compared with breakfast skippers. Relative to subjects who ate their largest meal at dinner, those who consumed breakfast as the largest meal experienced a significant decrease in BMI (-0.038; 95% CI: -0.048, -0.028), and those who consumed a big lunch experienced a smaller but still significant decrease in BMI than did those who ate their largest meal at dinner.Conclusions: Our results suggest that in relatively healthy adults, eating less frequently, no snacking, consuming breakfast, and eating the largest meal in the morning may be effective methods for preventing long-term weight gain. Eating breakfast and lunch 5-6 h apart and making the overnight fast last 18-19 h may be a useful practical strategy. SN - 1541-6100 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28701389/Meal_Frequency_and_Timing_Are_Associated_with_Changes_in_Body_Mass_Index_in_Adventist_Health_Study_2_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/jn/article-lookup/doi/10.3945/jn.116.244749 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -