Eating meals early in the day does not lead to weight loss among people with prediabetes, researchers have said.
A team from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore wanted to investigate how effective restrictive eating is on weight loss.
During the 12-week trial, they gave one group of people pre-prepared meals before 1pm every day and the other group were given the same meals after 5pm.
Dr Nisa Maruthur, associate professor of medicine, epidemiology and nursing at the university, said: “We have wondered for a long time if when one eats during the day affects the way the body uses and stores energy.
“Most prior studies have not controlled the number of calories, so it wasn’t clear if people who ate earlier just ate fewer calories. In this study, the only thing we changed was the time of day of eating.”
A total of 41 overweight adults took part in the study. Most of them were black females aged around 59. The researchers measured their weight and blood pressure at the beginning of the trial, then every four weeks after that.
All the participants lost weight and benefitted from lower blood pressure, regardless of when they ate.
Dr Maruthur said: “We thought that the time-restricted group would lose more weight, yet that didn’t happen. We did not see any difference in weight loss for those who ate most of their calories earlier versus later in the day. We did not see any effects on blood pressure either.
“Together, these findings will help us to more fully understand the effects of time-restricted eating on cardiometabolic health.”