New study warns: 8-hour eating window raises heart disease risk

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Research reveals potential risks of an 8-hour time-restricted eating plan on cardiovascular health.

NEW YORK, March 25: Preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention│Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Scientific Sessions 2024 reveals concerning findings regarding time-restricted eating patterns. A study analyzing data from over 20,000 US adults suggests that individuals who restricted their daily eating to less than 8 hours were at a greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared to those with longer eating durations, typically spanning 12 to 16 hours per day.

Time-restricted eating, a form of intermittent fasting, involves limiting the hours of food consumption within a specific window each day, ranging from 4 to 12 hours. Commonly known as the 16:8 method, where individuals fast for 16 hours and consume all meals within an 8-hour window, this dietary approach has gained popularity for its purported benefits on weight loss and heart health. Previous research indicated improvements in various cardiometabolic health markers, including blood pressure, glucose levels, and cholesterol levels.

Dr. Victor Wenze Zhong, senior study author and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, emphasized the importance of understanding the long-term implications of time-restricted eating. While shorter eating durations have been favored for their potential health advantages, this study highlights a potential association with increased cardiovascular mortality risk.

Key findings from the analysis include:

  • Individuals adhering to eating periods of less than 8 hours per day faced a 91% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
  • This heightened risk extended to individuals with pre-existing heart conditions or cancer.
  • Among those with cardiovascular disease, an eating duration of 8 to 10 hours per day correlated with a 66% higher risk of death from heart disease or stroke.
  • Time-restricted eating did not demonstrate an overall reduction in the risk of death from any cause.
  • Conversely, an eating duration exceeding 16 hours per day was linked to a lower risk of cancer mortality among individuals with cancer.

The study, which spanned approximately 20,000 US adults with an average age of 49, followed participants for a median duration of 8 years. While shedding light on potential risks associated with shortened eating windows, the research underscores the need for personalized dietary recommendations aligned with individual health statuses and scientific evidence.

Despite the significant findings, the study acknowledges limitations, including reliance on self-reported dietary information and the exclusion of certain health factors. Further research is warranted to explore the biological mechanisms underlying these associations and to validate findings across diverse populations worldwide.

This news has been read 681 times!

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