Eating at the wrong times can lead to obesity

Obesity  is caused  not only by the amount of food eaten, but also depends on the time it is consumed. A study published in November 2012 at the University of Pennsylvania (University of Pennsylvania, USA), published in the journal Nature Medicine, showed that eating at different times can make you fat without increasing your daily caloric intake. These results highlight the complex causes of obesity.

The researchers used guinea pigs and altered a fat cell gene called “BMAL1” to block its expression. This gene plays the role of a “biological clock” in the body and regulates eating. These mice deprived of this gene began to eat during the day, whereas they normally only feed at night (nocturnal mice) and became obese.

This analysis also showed that these animals suffered changes in the expression of hormones in the hypothalamus, which regulate appetite. It is interesting to note that daily food consumption is influenced by the expression of genes that activate or block hormones responsible for hunger (satiety, in particular) in the hypothalamus (brain).

This research is surprising for two reasons – explains Georgios Paschos, head of the research – First, because the guinea pigs became obese, without us increasing the number of calories consumed, but simply a change in time. Furthermore, the “biological clock” which was supposed to follow only the “guidelines” of the central nervous system, and especially of the brain, not only proved to be able to act alone, but also to influence the general behavior of the nervous system.” On this last point, it’s a bit like comparing cells to members of an orchestra who accompany the conductor (brain). While we know that there can be a degree of autonomy, we couldn’t imagine such freedom. This study shows that fat cells may have more autonomy in regulating appetite.

Other studies have already demonstrated in the past the influence of eating meals at fixed times in the fight against obesity. We know, for example, that night workers are more obese, as are people who sleep little. Hormones from the hypothalamus, in these cases, also explain the weight gain. The influence of hormones on appetite regulation is increasingly evident, researchers will now better understand how to respond more pragmatically to the real obesity epidemic that affects the world. As you can imagine, the treatment of obesity may rely more on educating people (including children) to give them lifelong healthy eating habits. Obesity treatment appears to be more of a social problem than a medical one (with exceptions, of course).

Jeanne Kenney
 | Website

I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *