Eating a late dinner may contribute to cardiometabolic risk in American Hispanics and Latinos, a population-based study found.
People who consumed at least 30% of their energy after 6 pm had 23% higher odds of hypertension (OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.05-1.44) and 19% higher odds of prediabetes (OR 1.19, 95% CI 1.03-1.37) compared with those who ate less in the evening.
But eating in the evening was not associated with overweight, obesity, or central adiposity in the study by Nour Makarem, PhD, of Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues slated for presentation here at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions, which begin Saturday.
Late eaters had higher levels of the following, compared with other participants:
These data are from "the first population-based study to demonstrate that consuming a larger proportion of energy in the evening may be associated with reduced glycemic control and higher odds of prediabetes and hypertension in US Hispanics [and] Latinos," the investigators noted.
Emerging data have highlighted "that eating at unconventional circadian times is associated with adverse metabolic effects," the researchers emphasized.
Clinicians have long known that "what you eat and how much you eat is critically important -- not only in the treatment and management of diabetes but, quite frankly, in the treatment and management other cardiovascular risk factors. This is a study that suggests that when you eat may matter," commented Eduardo Sanchez, MD, MPH, chief medical officer for prevention and chief of the Center for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the American Heart Association, who was not involved in the study.
The researchers evaluated 12,708 participants with an age range of 18 to 76 years from the Hispanic Community Health/Study of Latinos. None of the participants had cancer or diabetes. Of these participants, the average daily energy was 35.7% after 6 pm, and more than half reported eating at least 30% of energy after 6 pm.
The researchers gathered evening eating data using time-stamped 24-hour food recall information by evaluating average proportion of energy consumed after 6 pm.
Makarem's group used a multivariable linear and logistic regression model to determine the relationships between evening caloric intake and cardiometabolic risk. The investigators used models that considered sample weights and design effects and were also adjusted for variables like lifestyle and medical and socio-demographic covariates.
The findings showed that each 1% increase in energy intake after 6 pm was associated with the following:
When advising patients to make "healthy lifestyle choices, we often talk about how much and what we eat, but we should also consider when we eat. We should eat smaller evening meals, avoid consuming a lot of calories in the evening, and reduce night time eating," Makarem said to MedPage Today.
The study had its limitations. It is an observational study, that cannot draw causative conclusions, noted Sanchez.
While the findings are probably generalizable to all populations, that can't be concluded based on this study, Sanchez cautioned. Still, he noted, "It's critical to think about Latinos and other subpopulations because diabetes is not an equal opportunity 'burdener' of disease."
Going forward, "randomized trials are needed to determine whether changing meal-timing behaviors can reduce CVD risk via improvements in glucoregulation and BP," the researchers concluded.