Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

The Importance of Meal Times on Weight Loss

Credit: showcake/Adobe

Credit: showcake/Adobe

By Amanda Page

Our modern 24/7 appetite is disrupting natural gastric signalling oscillations to the brain. Restricting meal times could help weight loss and maintenance, particularly among shiftworkers.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Obesity is a huge global issue, with levels nearly tripling since 1975. In 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight, of which 650 million were obese.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 62.8% of Australian adults were overweight or obese in 2011–12. This has increased from 56.3% in 1995 and 61.2% in 2007–08.

Being overweight or obese increases an individual’s risk of developing chronic health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers (e.g. breast, ovarian, prostate and colon cancer). However, the successful treatment of obesity is limited. For example, while lifestyle interventions such as exercise and changes in diet result in weight loss, it is difficult to maintain and requires a degree of vigilance that most busy people cannot maintain.

As a result there is a low probability that people who achieve weight loss actually maintain it in the long term. The literature in this area is quite diverse with success rates for weight loss maintenance ranging from 2% to 20%.

At present, the most effective treatment for obesity is bariatric surgery. However, this option is not practical considering the large percentage of people who are overweight or obese and the economical burden this places on society. Bariatric surgery is limited to individuals with a body mass...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.