Study: Late-Night Heavy Meals Might Be Bad for Women’s Health

Category : Health

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. keep track / kip træk / (idiom) – to pay attention to something and monitor it

    The doctor asked me to keep track of the time I go to bed every night.

  2. intake / ˈɪnˌteɪk / (n) – the amount of food or liquid that enters the body

    My doctor advised me to reduce my salt intake to decrease my risk of kidney disease.

  3. probability / ˌprɒb əˈbɪl ɪ ti / (n) – the likelihood of something happening

    There is a low probability of rain today, so I will not bring an umbrella.

  4. mindful / ˈmaɪnd fəl / (adj) – aware or careful of what one does or says

    She’s mindful of what she says because she doesn’t want to hurt people with her words.

  5. proportion / prəˈpɔr ʃən / (n) – a part or amount of something

    Nutritionists advise that we consume a huge proportion of our daily calorie intake earlier in the day.


Read the text below.

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.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• What do you think are some things that cause people to eat late? How can these things be addressed?
• Aside from the effects of meal timing on heart health, what other effects of eating habits would you like the researchers to study? Explain.

Discussion B

• What do you think is the importance of being mindful of one’s eating habits? Discuss.
• What do you think would help people become more mindful of their eating habits? Explain.

Category : Health