Early birds 'have healthier diet' than night owls

Early birds make healthier food choices than nights owls, a new reports suggests.

A study published in the Obesity Society journal suggests that 'morning people' were found to eat more balanced foods throughout the day than 'evening people'.

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Researchers looked at data from nearly 2,000 randomly chosen people to determine if their circadian or biological clock rhythm (chronotype) affected what they ate and at what time. Clear differences in both energy and macronutrients between the two chronotypes abound, with morning people making healthier choices throughout the day.

Evening types ate less protein overall and ate more sucrose in the morning. In the evening, they ate more sucrose, fat and saturated fatty acids.

According to the Science Daily, TOS spokesperson Courtney Peterson, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said: "Early birds may have an extra advantage over night owls when it comes to fighting obesity as they are instinctively choosing to eat healthier foods earlier in the day.

"Previous studies have shown that eating earlier in the day may help with weight loss and lower the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. What this new study shows is that our biological clocks not only affect our metabolism but also what we choose to eat."

Mirkka Maukonen, who led the study out of the National Institute for Health and Welfare at the Department of Public Health Solutions in Helsinki, Finland, said: "Linking what and when people eat to their biological clock type provides a fresh perspective on why certain people are more likely to make unhealthy food decisions.

"This study shows that evening type people have less favorable eating habits, which may put them at a higher risk for obesity, diabetes and heart disease."

The findings could help people trying to lose weight, as clinicians can use knowledge of a person's biological clock to help suggest healthier options to eat at the optimal time of day.

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