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Obesity and Eating Habits
Eating Small Regular Meals Helps Stabilize Blood-Glucose, Insulin Levels and Body Weight
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Obesity and Eating Habits During Day

The researchers examined a national cholesterol study that took place from 1994 to 1998. A total of 499 people reported five times a year on what they ate over 24 hours.

The findings of the study appear in the current issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Ma and his colleagues found people who ate more than three times a day were about half as likely to be fat as those who ate three or fewer times a day. Ma suspects the difference may have something to do with fewer spikes in blood sugar levels among the frequent eaters.

Insulin levels go up when blood sugar rises, contributing to hunger and the buildup of fat, Ma says. Similar factors may be at work among those who frequently eat breakfast or dinner away from home, he says. The study found they were 4.5 times more likely to be fat.

Someone who eats breakfast at home might settle for a small, convenient meal, Kava says. "But if you go out, there's all kinds of tempting things like bacon and eggs and hash browns. Maybe you tend to indulge a little bit more. You don't have to do the work or clean up."

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