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Does timing of meals matter?

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“Eat breakfast yourself, share lunch with a friend and give dinner away to the enemy” emerged as a proverb in the 16th century. That was quite a change from the warning that physicians had been giving since the Middle Ages about breakfast being detrimental to health. You would think that by now, with all the research that has been done, we would have figured out how calories should be distributed throughout the day. Not so.

In 2016, a study comparing the timing of major meals in different countries hit the headlines. In Guatemala and Poland, the largest meal is at lunch, with breakfast and dinner having equal calories. In France, Switzerland and Italy, breakfasts are small, suppers somewhat larger, but the biggest meal is at lunch. Swedes eat small lunches and their breakfasts and suppers have the same calorie content. Germans, Americans, Danes, Dutch, Belgians and Canadians eat the largest meal at night. The conclusion that researchers distilled out of these observations was that large evening meals are linked with obesity. But there are caveats. There was insufficient data on snacking, which may contribute to weight gain. Also, it may be that people who eat smaller suppers are more active, perhaps hitting the gym in the evening.

The benefits of eating the largest meal of........

© Montreal Gazette