In a new study, scientists monitored the eating habits of American people. By using a health tracker app they found that instead of eating the three recommended daily meals, Americans eat nearly all the time.
The medical researchers explain that this might be the main cause why the weight-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes and metabolic disorders are so spread in the United States. Doctors warn that constant snacking is not healthy at all.
The research was commissioned in by the Salk Institute, California. The study paper was published the journal Cell Metabolism.
All participants were randomly selected, the list included 150 men and women of young to middle age, with no steady diet. All the study participants had to do was take a photo of every food that they ate, then tag the photo with the location and time.
The application was developed in order to collect and evaluate meal consumption patterns in humans. The statistics the app gathered was analyzed by the scientists. They found that the American population eats all day. However, what is more concerning is that they eat more than a third of the daily calorie intake after 6pm. At evening the body should filter sugars and fat. Researchers found that only a couple of the 150 participants ate three meals a day.
In addition, the participants ate a lot more calories than they needed, with 12% of the individuals eating an average of 2,000 calories after 9pm.
The participants usually included coffee and sandwiches in their diets in the morning, more sandwiches and vegetables at lunchtime, while at night they included candy, chocolate, vegetables, and alcohol, most of them after 9pm.
Researchers not only warned that the American population is not eating three square meals a day, but also that they eat very randomly, combining peculiar food, such as Cheetos with chese, and burgers with rice crispies.
Another recent study showed that eating two meals a day then skipping the dinner entirely significantly reduces the body mass index of the individual, more than consuming six smaller meals throughout the day.
The team of scientists decided to keep the smartphone app public, just so that people can have a better chance at knowing their eating habits and learning how to improve them. Scientists are planning to extend the study to Europe and Japan, in order to see how these eating habits can affect obesity, sleep patterns, and diabetes.
Photo credits: Pixabay