Last month, the American Heart Association released a new scientific statementthat seemed to suggest that eating late in the day is bad for your heart. At least, that was the take home message that made the rounds on evening news and morning shows.
The actual statement was a bit more cautious: “Allocating more calories earlier in the day might help reduce cardiovascular disease risk,” it read. But that was immediately followed by the disclaimer that “large studies tracking patients’ cardiovascular health over a long period are needed to show how meal timing and patterns impact disease risk.” In other words, this is still very much an unanswered question.
If you are someone who eats dinner at 6 pm every night and doesn’t eat again until breakfast, you might be feeling pretty smug right now. But that’s a pretty small group of people. Most American households (including mine) eat dinner closer to 7 pm and their European counterparts tend to eat even later. And about half of adults (including this one) frequently snack between dinner and bedtime. The question is whether we need to change our behavior in response to this latest research.