April 16 (UPI) -- Type 2 diabetics who prefer to stay up later at night and delay breakfast have a higher body mass, according to a study.
Researchers studied whether morning or evening preference among people with type 2 diabetes was associated with an increased risk for higher BMI and what factors contributed to it. Their findings were published Friday in the journal Diabetic Medicine.
A major risk factor for type 2 diabetes is obesity, but the researchers sought to find whether the time people go to bed and eat breakfast is a factor in weight gain.
"Later breakfast time is a novel risk factor associated with a higher BMI among people with type 2 diabetes," Dr. Sirimon Reutrakul, associate professor of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism in the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, said in a press release.
Reutrakul believes later meal times may misalign the internal biological clock, which plays a role in circadian regulation and can lead to dysregulation of energy metabolism according to previous studies.
The study included 210 non-shift workers living in Thailand with type 2 diabetes, who had an average BMI among of 28.4 kg/m2, which is considered overweight.
The researchers assessed morning/evening preference with a questionnaire that focused on preferred time for waking up and going to bed, time of day spent exercising and time of day spent engaged in mental activity.
Sleep duration and quality among participants was about 5.5 hours per night, and they consumed an average of 1,103 calories per day.
The researchers found that preference for morning was associated with lower BMI by 0.37 kg/m2. Of the participants, 97 had evening preference and ate breakfast between 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. and 113 had morning preference with breakfast 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
"It remains to be investigated if eating breakfast earlier will help with body weight in this population," Reutrakul said.