Another case against the midnight snack

December 2, 2014
Science Daily/Salk Institute for Biological Studies
These days, with the abundance of artificial light, TV, tablets and smartphones, adults and children alike are burning the midnight oil. What they are not burning is calories: with later bedtimes comes the tendency to eat. 

A new study cautions against an extended period of snacking, suggesting instead that confining caloric consumption to an 8- to 12-hour period-as people did just a century ago-might stave off high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity.

Researchers gave some of the time-restricted mice a respite on weekends, allowing them free access to high-fat meals for these two days. These mice had less fat mass and gained less weight than the mice given a freely available, high-fat diet the whole time. In fact, the mice that were freely fed just on weekends looked much the same as mice given access to food 9 or 12 hours a day for seven days a week, suggesting that the diet can withstand some temporary interruptions.

"The fact that it worked no matter what the diet, and the fact that it worked over the weekend and weekdays, was a very nice surprise," says the study's first author Amandine Chaix, a postdoctoral researcher in Panda's lab.

More importantly, for the mice that had already become obese by eating a freely available high-fat diet, researchers restricted their food access to a nine-hour window. Although the mice continued to consume the same number of calories, they dropped body weight by five percent within a few days. Importantly, eating this way prevented the mice from further weight gain (by about 25 percent by the end of the 38-week study) compared to the group kept on the freely available high-fat diet.
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141202123735.htm

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