Eating a late dinner can increase blood sugar levels and weight, study finds

(Photo: Shape Magazine)

How often do you eat a later dinner? If it’s too many nights to count, then you might want to re-examine that routine. Your mother probably already told you this, but here is the scientific evidence.

Researchers at the John Hopkins University in the US have found that eating dinner late at nights can lead to high blood sugar levels and put people at increased risk of being overweight.

The scientists studied 20 healthy volunteers, ten men and ten women, to see how dinner time affected overnight digestion.  

The volunteers all went to bed at 11 p.m. and their bodies’ metabolism were assessed throughout the night as they slept in a special laboratory-bedroom. Activity trackers provided data on the individuals while blood sampling was done every hour throughout the night. 

Body fat scans were also performed and the participants were only fed food with specific labels that allowed scientists to track the rate of fat burning.

Scientists found that eating shortly before going to bed makes the body less able to process all the nutrients and glucose. 

As a result, people burn ten per cent less fat overnight if they eat at 10 p.m., compared to having their evening meal at 6 p.m.  

All the data was crunched and published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.