Is eating dinner after 9pm good for you? Study suggests the norm in Spain could cause more risk of cardiovascular issues

SPAIN’S population is known for eating late dinners, with many tucking into their last meal of the day well after 9pm.

But according to a new study, the custom might not be as good for the heart.

The Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), working alongside French scientists, have found that eating both breakfast and dinner earlier is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Their research monitored more than 100,000 people between 2009 and 2022 and the results have just been published in the Nature Communications medical journal.

Diners enjoy tapas at the historic centre of Seville, Andalusia, Spain (Cordon Press)

According to the report, the timing and rhythm of daily meals has an important role to play in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

The study found that by every hour participants regularly delayed breakfast, their risk of having cardiovascular issues increased by 6%.

Meanwhile, eating dinner after 9pm was associated with a 28% increase in the risk of cerebrovascular diseases, which can cause strokes, compared to those who ate before 8pm.

The differences were more dramatic in women.

Additionally, the study suggested fasting overnight was found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Those who left a longer gap between their last meal and breakfast the following day had a lower risk of cerebrovascular conditions.

The research team used data from 103,389 participants (79% of whom were women, with an average age of 42).

Scientists will now seek to back up the results with additional studies.

According to the Global Burden of Disease study, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the world, with 18.6 million deaths annually in 2019, of which around 7.9% are attributable to diet.

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