Women who eat the bulk of their daily calories in the evening face higher heart disease risk, according to new research from Columbia University.
While most study participants ate some food after 6 p.m., the women who consumed a higher proportion of their daily calories after this time experienced poorer heart health outcomes, said Nour Makarem, Ph.D. These women were more likely to have higher blood pressure, higher body mass index and poorer long-term control of blood sugar.
In addition, every 1% increase in calories consumed after 8 p.m. increased the participants’ likelihood of having these heart disease risk factors, Makarem reported.
“These preliminary results indicate that intentional eating that is mindful of the timing and proportion of calories in evening meals may represent a simple, modifiable behavior that can help lower heart disease risk,” said Makarem in a statement.
Notably, the impact on blood pressure was more pronounced in Hispanic women. The effect persisted in this group even after adjusting for age and socioeconomic status.
Findings will be presented this weekend at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2019 in Philadelphia.