Skipping Meals, Fasting and Eating Meals Too Closely Together May Be Linked to Increased Mortality Risk

Summary: A new study links daily eating to an increased risk of death. People over the age of 40 who eat one meal a day have a higher risk of death. Those who skip breakfast increase their risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and those who eat less than 4.5 hours apart are at increased risk of death.

Source: Elsevier

Eating just one meal a day is associated with an increased risk of death in American adults age 40 and older, according to a new study from the US. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Skipping breakfast is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease death and missing lunch or dinner for all-cause mortality.

Even among individuals who eat three meals a day, eating two side-by-side meals less than or equal to 4.5 hours apart is associated with a higher risk of all-cause mortality.

At a time when intermittent fasting is widely touted as a solution for weight loss, metabolic health, and disease prevention, our study is important to the majority of American adults who eat less than three meals a day. Our research revealed that individuals who ate only one meal a day were more likely to die than those who ate more food per day.

Among them, participants who skip breakfast are more likely to develop fatal cardiovascular diseases, while those who skip lunch or dinner increase their risk of death from all causes. , University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis. TN, USA. “Based on these findings, we recommend eating at least two to three meals spread out throughout the day.”

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Researchers analyzed data from a group of more than 24,000 American adults age 40 and older who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 1999 and 2014. Every two years, NHANES collects a wide variety of health-related data to assess diet, nutritional status, general health, disease history, and health behaviors.

The death status and cause of the 4,175 deaths identified among this group were determined from the NHANES Public Use Linked Death File. Researchers observed a number of common characteristics among participants who ate less than three meals a day (about 40% of participants) – younger, male, non-Hispanic Black, less educated and lower family income, smoking, drinking more alcohol, ensure food safety and eat less nutritious food, more snacks and consume less energy overall.

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Dr. Bao explained that skipping meals often means taking on a larger energy load all at once, which can aggravate the burden of glucose metabolism regulation and lead to subsequent metabolic deterioration. Image is in the public domain

The study’s senior investigator, MD, Ph.D. College of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA. “Our findings are based on observations from publicly available data and do not imply causation. However, what we observed makes metabolic sense.”

Dr. Bao explained that skipping meals often means taking on a larger energy load all at once, which can aggravate the burden of glucose metabolism regulation and lead to subsequent metabolic deterioration. This may also explain the association between a shorter meal interval and death, as a shorter interval between meals results in a greater energy load in the given time.

Dr. “Our research adds to much needed evidence about the relationship between eating behaviors and mortality in the context of meal timing and duration of the daily prandial period,” commented Bao.

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Meal frequency, skipping, and spacing were not addressed in the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans because the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee “found insufficient evidence to summarize the evidence between eating frequency and health.”

Earlier dietary studies and Dietary Guidelines for Americans focused primarily on dietary components and food combinations.

About this diet research news

Author: press office
Source: Elsevier
Communication: Press Office – Elsevier
Picture: Image is in the public domain

Original research: Open Access.
Yangbo Sun et al. “Meal Skipping and Shorter Meal Intervals Are Associated with Increased All-Cause Risk and Cardiovascular Disease Death in US Adults”. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics


Abstract

Meal Skipping and Shorter Meal Intervals Are Associated with Increased All-Cause Risk and Cardiovascular Disease Death among US Adults

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Background

Previous dietary studies and current dietary guidelines have focused primarily on dietary intake and food patterns. Little is known about the relationship between eating behaviors such as meal frequency, skipping and intervals, and mortality.

Aim

The aim was to examine the associations of meal frequency, skipping, and intervals with all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality.

Design

This was a prospective study.

Participants/environment

A total of 24,011 adults (≥40 years) who participated in the 1999-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were included in this study. Eating behaviors were assessed using 24-hour recall. Death and underlying causes of death were determined by linking to death records up to 31 December 2015.

Main outcome measures

Outcomes were all-cause and CVD mortality.

Statistical analyzes made

Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for all-cause and CVD deaths.

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Results

During the 185,398 person-year follow-up period, 4,175 deaths occurred, of which 878 were cardiovascular deaths. Most of the participants ate three meals a day. Compared with participants who ate three meals a day, the multivariate adjusted HRs for participants who ate one meal a day were 1.30 (95% CI 1.03 vs. 1.64) for all-cause mortality and 1.83 (for CVD mortality). 95 CI was 1.26 – 2.65). . Participants who skipped breakfast had a multivariate adjusted HR of 1.40 (95% CI 1.09 to 1.78) for CVD mortality compared with those who did not. Multivariate adjusted HRs for all-cause mortality were 1.12 (95% CI 1.01 to 1.24) for skipping lunch and 1.16 (95% CI 1.02 to 1 for skipping dinner) compared with non-skippers. ,32). Among participants who ate three meals a day, multivariate adjusted HR for participants with a mean interval of ≤4.5 hours for two adjacent meals was 1.17 (95% CI 1.04 to 1, 95% CI 1.04 to 1, for all-cause mortality) compared with those with a meal interval. 32) was. 4.6 to 5.5 hours.

Results

In this large, prospective study of US adults aged 40 years and older, eating one meal a day was associated with an increased risk of all-cause and CVD death. Skipping breakfast was associated with an increased risk of CVD mortality, while skipping lunch or dinner was associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality. Among participants who ate three meals a day, a meal interval of ≤4.5 hours for two adjacent meals was associated with a higher all-cause mortality.

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