A study titled "Associations of meal timing, number of eating occasions and night-time fasting duration with incidence of type 2 diabetes in the NutriNet-Santé cohort" investigated the relationship between breakfast timing and the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). The NutriNet-Santé cohort is a large web-based population study in France that explores nutrition and health associations.
Researchers analysed data from over 100,000 adults in the cohort, focusing on breakfast timing, eating frequency, and overnight fasting duration. Participants completed questionnaires about their lifestyle, dietary intake, and health status, at the start of the study and during the follow-up period (approximately 7 years).
The study reported that participants who had their first meal before 8 am had a lower incidence of T2D than those who ate after 9 am. However, this association was only found after adjustments were made for age, smoking, family history of T2D, and physical activity. The study included raw data on T2D cases and total participants in each breakfast timing group. Interestingly, the raw data found that there was a higher incidence of T2D in the group having breakfast before 8 am. Adjustment changed everything therefore. This discrepancy highlights the potential impact of adjustments, particularly for age, on the results.