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Really? Timing of Meals Affects Weight Loss

By ANAHAD O'CONNOR

Anahad O’Connor tackles health myths.

THE FACTS

In The New England Journal of Medicine last week, a prominent researcher noted that much of the conventional wisdom about weight loss has little basis in science. But his article did not address one oft-asked question: Is your waistline affected by when you eat, or is a calorie always just a calorie whenever you eat it?

To seasoned dieters, the claim that eating late can spell trouble is nothing new. But the idea has lacked evidence from credible human studies. Most of the research to date has shown that eating late is linked to weight gain, but late eaters also tend to consume more calories over all.

In a new study, published in The International Journal of Obesity, researchers at Harvard and elsewhere followed 420 overweight men and women in Spain in a 20-week weight loss program.  Click here for the NYT.we