If you skip breakfast, snack impulsively, eat at unusual times, or chow down before bedtime, chew on this: Irregular eating can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
So says the American Heart Association (AHA), which suggests that sticking to a regular mealtime schedule may help you avoid long-term health problems.
Unhealthy eating has become more common over the past 40 years, a worrisome trend noted by the AHA in a scientific statement issued in January 2017.
Between 20 and 30 percent of U.S. adults skip breakfast, which can lead to overeating later in the day and ultimately cause weight gain.
Many people who have trouble finding time to cook or enjoy a sensible meal turn to fast-food restaurants, vending machines, and processed convenience foods for nourishment. The result: bigger portions that provide fast energy, but fewer nutrients.
“Given people’s busy lives, setting aside time to eat without distraction is vital,” says Marie-Pierre St-Onge, Ph.D., associate professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University and lead author of the scientific statement, published online in the journal Circulation. Scientific statements generally include a…