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Time-Restricted Eating May Not Aid Weight Loss

Last Updated: October 06, 2020.

Time-restricted eating does not confer weight loss or cardiometabolic benefits compared with eating structured meals throughout the day, according to a study published online Sept. 28 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

TUESDAY, Oct. 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Time-restricted eating does not confer weight loss or cardiometabolic benefits compared with eating structured meals throughout the day, according to a study published online Sept. 28 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Dylan A. Lowe, Ph.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues assessed the effect of 16:8-hour time-restricted eating on weight loss and metabolic risk markers. Overweight or obese adult participants were randomly assigned to either consistent meal timing (CMT; three structured meals per day) or time-restricted eating (TRE; instructed to eat ad libitum from 12 p.m. until 8 p.m. and then completely abstain from caloric intake). A subset of 50 of 116 participants received in-person measurements.

The researchers observed a significant decrease in weight in the TRE group, but there was no significant change in the CMT group or between groups. There was a significant within-group decrease in weight in the TRE group among the in-person participants. Appendicular lean mass index also showed a significant difference between groups. No other secondary outcomes showed significant changes either within or between groups. Estimated energy intake was similar between groups.

"Time-restricted eating, in the absence of other interventions, is not more effective in weight loss than eating throughout the day," the authors write.

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