Fasting and skipping meals are often touted as having health benefits, but according to a new study, these behaviors significantly increase the risk of premature death.
One study found a significant association between skipping meals and an increased risk of premature death. In other words, those who skip one or two of the three main meals of the day, i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner, will have a higher risk of dying prematurely. Even those who consume them in a very short period of time have a higher risk than those who consume them all together. The survey results contradict the purported benefits we often hear about with intermittent fasting and the like. However, it must be emphasized that this was a simple observational/correlation study, without evaluating cause-and-effect relationships between meal skipping and early death. However, the statistical association was found to be so significant that the study authors recommended further study.
Skipping meals may increase the risk of premature death, has been identified by an international research team led by US scientists from the University of Iowa School of Public Health and the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, who worked closely with colleagues from Tongji Huazhong Medical College. University of Science and Technology (China) and School of Public Health, Wuhan University. The scientists, coordinated by Professor Wei Bao, a professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Riverside University, came to their conclusions after analyzing data from more than 24,000 people aged 40 or older, all of whom participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2014. .
The researchers, after analyzing the participants’ eating behaviors, compared this data with public death records up to December 31, 2015, highlighting the relationship between skipping meals and all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease. 4,175 deaths occurred during the follow-up period, of which 878 were due to cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction, cardiac arrest, stroke, etc. Statistical analysis showed that, compared with those who ate the three main meals of the day, for those who ate only one meal, the mortality risk was 1.30 (95% CI 1.03 to 1.64) higher for all-cause mortality or 1.83 (95). %CI 1.26 to 2.65) is higher than the death rate due to cardiovascular disease. Those who did not eat breakfast had a 1.40 (95% CI, 1.09 to 1.78) higher risk of cardiovascular death than those who did not. Those who skipped breakfast had a 1.12 (95% CI, 1.01 to 1.24) risk of early death from all causes, while it was 1.16 (95% CI, 1.02 to 1.24)32 for those who skipped dinner, again compared to those who ate Three meals a day. Those who ate three times a day but did so with intervals of less than 4.5 hours (between two adjacent meals) were more likely to die prematurely.
“While intermittent fasting is widely promoted as a solution to weight loss, metabolic health, and disease prevention, our study is significant for the large portion of American adults who eat fewer than three meals a day. Our research found that people who eat only one meal a day Today they are more likely to die than those who eat multiple meals a day.Among them, participants who skip breakfast are more likely to suffer fatal cardiovascular disease, while those who skip Lunch or dinner increase the risk of death from all causes.
Interestingly, the association between early death and meal skipping remained significant “even after adjustments for diet and lifestyle factors (smoking, alcohol consumption, levels of physical activity, energy intake, and quality food) and food insecurity,” notes Professor Bao. Those most likely to skip meals are men, blacks, Hispanics, young adults, and those with less education. More in-depth studies are needed to determine the causal relationship between skipping meals and the risk of premature death. Details of the research “Skipping meals and shorter meal intervals is associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease in American adults” was published in the Scientific Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
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