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For people, mealtime is all the time

Restricting eating hours aids in weight loss, study shows

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12:00pm, September 24, 2015
phone food app

SNACK SNAP  People who took pictures of their food for three weeks helped scientists track human eating habits. The results show that eating three meals a day is a myth.

Three meals a day is a myth. People eat all the time, a new study shows.

People eat almost constantly for about 15 hours a day, nearly all of their waking hours, researchers learned from studying smartphone pictures that people took of food. Restricting eating time to a 10-hour stretch per day led to weight loss in a small group of overweight study participants, researchers report online September 24 in Cell Metabolism. The findings are part of a growing body of evidence that timing of meals is important for health.

In previous studies, circadian biologist Satchidananda Panda of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., and colleagues showed that restricting when mice or fruit flies were allowed to eat could influence weight gain and heart health (SN: 4/4/15, p.7).

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