Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Apr;85(4):981-8.

A controlled trial of reduced meal frequency without caloric restriction in healthy, normal-weight, middle-aged adults.

Author information

  • 1Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, US Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Research Service, Beltsville, MD, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although consumption of 3 meals/d is the most common pattern of eating in industrialized countries, a scientific rationale for this meal frequency with respect to optimal health is lacking. A diet with less meal frequency can improve the health and extend the lifespan of laboratory animals, but its effect on humans has never been tested.

OBJECTIVE:

A pilot study was conducted to establish the effects of a reduced-meal-frequency diet on health indicators in healthy, normal-weight adults.

DESIGN:

The study was a randomized crossover design with two 8-wk treatment periods. During the treatment periods, subjects consumed all of the calories needed for weight maintenance in either 3 meals/d or 1 meal/d.

RESULTS:

Subjects who completed the study maintained their body weight within 2 kg of their initial weight throughout the 6-mo period. There were no significant effects of meal frequency on heart rate, body temperature, or most of the blood variables measured. However, when consuming 1 meal/d, subjects had a significant increase in hunger; a significant modification of body composition, including reductions in fat mass; significant increases in blood pressure and in total, LDL-, and HDL-cholesterol concentrations; and a significant decrease in concentrations of cortisol.

CONCLUSIONS:

Normal-weight subjects are able to comply with a 1 meal/d diet. When meal frequency is decreased without a reduction in overall calorie intake, modest changes occur in body composition, some cardiovascular disease risk factors, and hematologic variables. Diurnal variations may affect outcomes.

Comment in

PMID:
17413096
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2645638
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (1)Free text

FIGURE 1
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk