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More evidence links weight gain with meal times

Some earlier work has identified a pattern between eating later and increased weight gain. For instance, the authors of a 2011 study concluded that "caloric intake after 8:00 p.m. may increase the risk of obesity." However, it is not clear whether individuals who eat later in the day might realized weight gain due to having less sleep overall.

The analysis of this study showed that, on average, the participants ate their food during an 11-hour window and had 7 hours of sleep each night. As expected, those who ate later in the day had a higher BMI and greater levels of body fat. Importantly, the researchers also showed that those who ate later in the day still had an average of 7 hours of sleep, implying that a lack of sleep is not the primary driver of these effects.

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