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A new study suggests that eating heavy meals late at night may be bad for women’s heart health.
Researchers from Columbia University examined the relationship of the timing of dinner with the risk of having a heart disease. They found that women consuming more calories late at night are at greater risk of heart diseases. The research was presented at the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Scientific Sessions annual meeting.
The study involved 112 women with an average age of 33 years old. At the start of the study, the researchers examined the participants’ heart health using a checklist from the AHA. Then, for one week, the participants were instructed to keep track of their food intake and the time of their meals through their computers or mobile phones. At the end of the year, the participants underwent another heart health check and were asked to keep another diary of their food and meal schedules.
Results showed that most women ate after 6:00 p.m. However, those who consumed more calories in the evening were found to be more at risk of heart diseases. Findings also showed that as calorie consumption after 6:00 p.m. increases, the probability of having heart problems rises. High blood pressure, increased body mass index (BMI), and difficulty with blood sugar control were also observed among women with higher calorie intake at night.
Lead author Nour Makarem said that the study shows the importance of being mindful of the timing of evening meals and the proportion of calories that one consumes. She said that this mindfulness could be a simple way to help lower the risks of heart disease among people.