Hormones that make you hungry rise in the evening, study finds

Feeling stressed can also prompt people to overeat

Sabrina Barr
Tuesday 23 January 2018 10:35 GMT

Your “hunger hormone” levels rise and your “satiety hormone” levels drop in the evening, a study has discovered.

A report published in the International Journal of Obesity investigated how evening hours can influence a person’s tendency to overeat.

The study, which was overseen by Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, also took the participants’ stress levels into account, exploring whether a person’s mental state can also impact their “hunger hormone” levels.

The researchers conducted a series of experiments with a small group of 19 overweight men and 13 women, aged between 18 and 50.

The body mass indices of the participants was recorded as ranging between 28 and 52.

Each individual fasted for eight hours, before receiving a 608 calorie liquid meal at either nine o’clock in the morning or four o’clock in the afternoon.

They then underwent a stress test and had their blood taken in order to have their stress and hunger hormones assessed.

During the next stage of the experiment, the participants were then presented with a grand buffet of food.

The researchers concluded that people may be more prone to eating due to increased hunger hormone levels during the latter part of the day.

“Our findings suggest that evening is a high-risk time for overeating, especially if you’re stressed and already prone to binge eating,” said Sarah Carnell, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine.

“The good news is that having this knowledge, people could take steps to reduce their risk of overeating by eating earlier in the day, or finding alternative ways to deal with stress.”

In 2017, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development reported in their annual Health at a Glance report that 26.9 per cent of the British population can be classified as obese, due to having body mass indices of 30 and above.

Since the 1990s, obesity in the UK has increased by 92 per cent.

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