Two Large Meals May Be Better Than Six Small Meals For Weight, Diabetes Control

Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD Diabetes Centre, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine 140 21 Prague Czech RepublicMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Hana Kahleova, MD, PhD
Diabetes Centre, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine
140 21 Prague
Czech Republic

MedicalResearch: What was the aim of your study?

Dr. Kahleova: The aim of the study was to compare the effect of six (A6 regimen) vs two meals a day, breakfast and lunch (B2 regimen), on body weight, hepatic fat content (HFC), insulin resistance and beta cell function.

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Kahleova: Comparison of the effect of six vs. two meals (breakfast and lunch) with the same daily caloric restriction (-500 kcal/day) and macronutrient content, each regimen lasting 12 weeks, demonstrated a superior effect of breakfast and lunch on body weight, hepatic fat content, fasting plasma glucose, C-peptide, glucagon and insulin sensitivity.


MedicalResearch: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Dr. Kahleova: Our data contradict the widely held opinion that eating more frequently is healthier than eating less-frequent larger meals. Some studies suggested that people who consumed more snacks were less likely to be obese  but other large prospective studies demonstrated that frequent snacking may lead to weight gain and increased risk of type 2 diabetes because of the higher energy intake mainly from added sugars.

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Kahleova: Our study confirmed the ancient wisdom: ” Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” However, further larger-scale, long-term studies are essential before offering recommendations in terms of meal frequency. Novel therapeutic strategies should incorporate not only the energy and macronutrient content but also the frequency and timing of food.

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Kahleova: Further larger-scale, long-term studies on meal frequency and timing  are needed to confirm the results of our study.

Citation:

Eating two larger meals a day (breakfast and lunch) is more effective than six smaller meals in a reduced-energy regimen for patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomised crossover study

Hana Kahleova, Lenka Belinova, Hana Malinska, Olena Oliyarnyk… in Diabetologia (2014)
10.1007/s00125-014-3253-5