Skipping meals, fasting, and eating meals too close together may be linked to increased cardiovascular mortality.
Eating just one meal a day is associated with a higher risk of mortality in adults age 40 and older, according to a new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Not only that, the study also shows that skipping breakfast is associated with a higher risk of mortality caused by cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, it is reported that, among individuals who consume three meals a day, the consumption of two of the three meals less than or equal to 4.5 hours apart is associated with a higher risk of death.
The findings come from a study in which 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.
“At a time when intermittent fasting is widely touted as a solution for weight loss, metabolic health and disease prevention, our study is relevant to the large swath of adults who eat fewer than three meals a day. Our research has revealed that individuals who eat just one meal are more likely to die than those who eat multiple meals a day. Among them, participants who skip breakfast are more likely to develop fatal cardiovascular disease, while those who skip lunch or dinner increase their risk of death,” said lead author Yangbo Sun, Ph. University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.
It is plausible that combining meals means ingesting a greater energy load at one time, which may aggravate the burden of glucose metabolism regulation and lead to subsequent metabolic deterioration. This may also explain the association between a shorter interval between meals and mortality, as a shorter time between meals would result in a higher energy load over a given period.
“Based on these results, we recommend eating at least two or three meals spread out throughout the day.”
- Meal Skipping and Shorter Meal Intervals Are Associated with Increased Risk of All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality among US Adults. (jandonline.org)