Based on the study’s findings, eating late does appear to have some connection to obesity risk, namely in those who are overweight or obese already.
The results showed that when participants were on the later meal schedule, they woke up feeling hungrier, were less effective at burning calories, and had adipose tissue that showed increased fat growth. As study author Nina Vujović, Ph.D., explains in a news release, “We found that eating four hours later makes a significant difference for our hunger levels, the way we burn calories after we eat, and the way we store fat.”
But since this research only included overweight or obese participants, the study authors say further research is needed to see if these results would translate to the larger population.
Nevertheless, given that we already know eating late at night can disrupt sleep and cause blood sugar spikes, it’s worth avoiding for other reasons if you can help it too.