diet workplace wellness

Study Indicates That Skipping Meals is Bad for Health

This post may make you rethink your decision to skip breakfast this morning.

We previously noted a report from the American Heart Association about the connection between skipping meals and health. The study provides actionable information for a well-run workplace wellness program and ways to help remind employees about healthy eating.

The study is titled “Meal Timing and Frequency: Implications for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.”

Now the New York Times writes: “A recent review of the dietary patterns of 50,000 adults who are Seventh Day Adventists over seven years provides the latest evidence suggesting that we should front-load our calories early in the day to jump-start our metabolisms and prevent obesity, starting with a robust breakfast and tapering off to a smaller lunch and light supper, or no supper at all.”

“More research is needed, but a series of experiments in animals and some small trials in humans have pointed in the same direction, suggesting that watching the clock, and not just the calories, may play a more important role in weight control than previously acknowledged.”

The study is titled “Meal Frequency and Timing Are Associated with Changes in Body Mass Index in Adventist Health Study.” Its conclusion: “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.”

The NYT adds: “Fasting signals to the body to start burning stores of fat for fuel, the researchers said. ‘It seems our bodies are built to feast and fast,’ said Dr. Hana Kahleova, one of the authors of the study, which was done by researchers at Loma Linda University School of Public Health in California and published in The Journal of Nutrition in July. ‘It needs some regular cycling between having food intake and fasting. This seems to be hard-wired.'”

“Having the largest meal in the morning appears to have advantages for weight control compared with having a large meal in the evening, she said, since the digestive process and the action of insulin, the pancreatic hormone that the body uses to process the sugars in carbohydrates and store glucose, appear to be at their peak performance early in the day.”