Heart health: Caloric intake in the evening increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases

Heart health: Caloric intake in the evening increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases

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Increased risk of heart disease from our dinner?

If women consume a higher proportion of their daily calories in the evening, this seems to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

A recent study found that women who only consume a higher proportion of their daily calories in the evening are more likely to have cardiovascular diseases than women who consume these calories throughout the day. The results of the study have now been presented at this year's Scientific Sessions by the American Heart Association in Philadelphia.

112 women were examined for the study

In their investigation, the researchers assessed the cardiovascular health of 112 women who had an average age of 33 years. Particular attention was paid to risk factors that can be improved through lifestyle changes. These risk factors included, for example, no smoking, physical activity, healthy eating and a healthy body weight as well as the measurement of cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

A heart health value was calculated for all women

The researchers calculated a heart health score for the participating women based on the above factors. The participants kept electronic food diaries on their computers or cell phones to report what, how much and when they had eaten for a week - once at the start of the study and once twelve months later. This data was then used to determine the relationship between heart health and the time of eating.

Many dinner calories negatively affected heart health

Most women only consumed small amounts of food after 6 p.m. Participants who consumed a higher proportion of their daily calories after 6 p.m. had poorer heart health.

Effects of late calorie intake

With each increase in calories by one percent after 6 p.m., heart health also deteriorated. If women consumed a large proportion of their daily calories consumed after 6 p.m., the likelihood of higher blood pressure, increased BMI and poor long-term control of blood sugar increased. Similar results were seen with every 1% increase in calorie consumption after 8:00 p.m.

It makes a difference when calories are ingested

"So far, lifestyle approaches to prevent heart disease have focused on what we eat and how much we eat," says study author Dr. Nour Makarem of Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York in a press release from the American Heart Association. In the future, we should also consider when we eat.

More research is needed

The results of the study suggest that eating food, taking into account the timing and proportion of calories consumed at dinner, is simple, modifiable behavior to reduce the risk of heart disease. The results should be checked in future studies with larger samples and other populations. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Evening eating linked to poorer heart health for women, American Heart Association (query: 11.11.2019), American Heart Association

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