I apologize for the lack of updates lately, I’ve been hard at work on a new project…However, something appeared in my in-box today that I had to share with you…
It was an article from the NYTimes about “The Risks and Rewards of Skipping Meals”
In this article, the author attempted to review some of the research being published back in 2007…Specifically a study published in Metabolism, which “looked at what happens when people skip meals but end up eating just as much as they would in a normal day when they finally do sit down to a meal.”
The study, conducted by diabetes researchers at the National Institute on Aging, involved healthy, normal-weight men and women in their 40s. For two months, the study subjects ate three meals a day. For another eight-week period, they skipped two meals but ate the same number of calories in one evening meal, consumed between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Here is the Journalists main ‘finding’ from the study…
The researchers found that skipping meals during the day and eating one large meal in the evening resulted in potentially risky metabolic changes. The meal skippers had elevated fasting glucose levels and a delayed insulin response — conditions that, if they persisted long term, could lead to diabetes.
Which to me sounds down right scary.
Of course when read a second time, we notice some very interesting words thrown into the mix…
- “Potentially risky”,
- “If they persisted long term”
- “Could Lead”
…Basically words that ‘soften’ the statements while still allowing for a lot of WOW factor…In other words the Journalist did not say that “skipping meals could lead to diabetes”…it’s just the way we read it.
It’s the same technique used in some supplement marketing… As an example
New Maximum strength MUSCLE-POWDER has the super powerful ability to potentially boost your anabolic drive, and if this persists for long term it could lead to SUPER AMAZING gains in SHREDDED MASS!!!!!!
You get the drift…
Anyways… since this is an older study, it just happened to be one of the ones I reviewed for Eat Stop Eat…so here is a list of some of the actual researchers comments about the findings…
*when on 1 meal/d, subjects exhibited: a significant reduction of fat mass,
*There were no significant effects of meal frequency on HOMA-IR, ISI or MCR (techniques to assess insulin sensitivity and resistance)
*Fasting plasma insulin concentrations were not significantly affected by meal frequency
*and there were no significant effects of diet on insulin responses to glucose during the OGTT (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test)
*The fasting plasma ghrelin concentration was similar in subjects when on 1 meal/d or 3 meals/d
*Diet had no significant effects on morning plasma concentrations of glucagon, leptin, adiponectin, resistin and BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor).
*The OGTTs were performed in the morning. Therefore, when on the 1 meal/d diet the subjects had consumed a much greater amount of food in proximity to the OGTT compared to subjects on 3 meals/d, which could have influenced morning insulin sensitivity.
*In other words, The difference in fasting glucose levels could be explained, in part, by continuing absorption of the greater amount of food consumed in the evening in the subjects on the 1 meal/d diet.
Bottom line – Journalists need controversial stories and good hooks…it’s what gets us to read their articles, HOWEVER sometimes it’s best if when there is no story, simply report that there is no story. Especially when reporting on the results of one study.
What really irked me was the final statement by the journalist ==>
“However, skipping meals during the day and then overeating at the evening meal results in harmful metabolic changes in the body.”
Just another reason to hit the ‘unsubscribe’ button and limit the amount of “Health Infotainment” (as opposed to “Health Information”) that you are bombarded with on a daily basis.
PS- Thanks to Richard for sending the article.