BACKGROUND: We aim to evaluate the association between meal intervals and weight trajectory among adults from a clinical cohort. METHODS AND RESULTS: This is a multisite prospective cohort study of adults recruited from 3 health systems. Over the 6-month study period, 547 participants downloaded and used a mobile application to record the timing of meals and sleep for at least 1 day. We obtained information on weight and comorbidities at each outpatient visit from electronic health records for up to 10 years before until 10 months after baseline. We used mixed linear regression to model weight trajectories. Mean age was 51.1 (SD 15.0) years, and body mass index was 30.8 (SD 7.8) kg/m2; 77.9% were women, and 77.5% reported White race. Mean interval from first to last meal was 11.5 (2.3) hours and was not associated with weight change. The number of meals per day was positively associated with weight change. The average difference in annual weight change (95% CI) associated with an increase of 1 daily meal was 0.28 kg (0.02–0.53). CONCLUSIONS: Number of daily meals was positively associated with weight change over 6 years. Our findings did not support the use of time-restricted eating as a strategy for long-term weight loss in a general medical population.
- eating behavior
- eating intervals
- weight trajectory
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine