Want a long life? Tuck into your breakfast before 7am – because eating it late disrupts the body’s ‘food clock’
- Waiting until 10am could put you in an early grave, new research suggests
- City University of New York researchers tracked 34,000 Americans over 40
- Volunteers recorded eating times and scientists matched these with death rates
Breakfast is already said to be the most important meal of the day – but experts now believe that eating it at the crack of dawn could help you live longer, too.
Having it by 7am could boost life expectancy – but waiting until 10am could put you in an early grave, research suggests.
Scientists wanted to discover whether the timing of the first meal of the day was linked to longevity.
Previous research has found eating late at night disrupts the body’s internal clock and increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. But few studies have looked at whether the timing of breakfast has a similar impact.
Researchers from City University of New York tracked more than 34,000 Americans aged over 40 for several decades (stock image)
So researchers from City University of New York tracked more than 34,000 Americans aged over 40 for several decades.
Volunteers recorded eating times and scientists matched these with death rates over the course of the study.
The results, published in the Journal of Nutrition, showed those breakfasting between 6am and 7am were six per cent less likely to die prematurely from major illnesses such as heart disease or cancer than those who regularly had breakfast at 8am, and 12 per cent less at risk of early death than others who first ate at 10am.
It’s thought that skipping breakfast, or eating it late, disrupts the body’s ‘food clock’ – the internal programming that controls the release of feeding-related hormones, such as insulin.
Volunteers recorded eating times and scientists matched these with death rates over the course of the study (stock image)
This hormone helps to burn up glucose from the bloodstream, and levels peak in the early morning.
Eating later may mean the body gradually makes less insulin and blood glucose levels rise – leading to diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
A poll last year found one in five Britons regularly missed breakfast entirely and didn’t have their first meal until midday.