Benjamin Franklin famously extolled the virtues of early risers saying, “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” – and a new study adds scientific data to the claim that morning people may in fact be healthier. By comparing “morning type” people with “evening type” people, researchers found that morning people ate more balanced foods overall and ate earlier in the day. Published in Obesity, the scientific journal of The Obesity Society (TOS), this is the first study of its kind to examine what and when people with different internal time clocks eat, including macronutrients like carbohydrates, protein and fat.
“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,” said TOS spokesperson Courtney Peterson, PhD, of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “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.”