Eating breakfast before 7am could help you live longer as eating late disrupts the ‘food clock’

Do you want a long life? Eat your breakfast before 7am – because eating late disrupts the body’s ‘food clock’

  • Waiting until 10am could put you in an early grave, new research suggests
  • Researchers at the City University of New York tracked 34,000 Americans over the age of 40
  • Volunteers recorded meal times and scientists linked them to death rates


It’s been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but experts now believe that eating it at dawn can help you live longer.

Getting it before 7 a.m. can increase life expectancy, but waiting until 10 a.m. could put you in an early grave, research suggests.

Scientists wanted to find out whether the timing of the first meal of the day was linked to longevity.

Previous research has shown that eating late at night disrupts the body’s internal clock and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. But few studies have looked at whether breakfast timing has a similar impact.

Researchers at the City University of New York tracked more than 34,000 Americans over the age of 40 for decades (stock image)

So, for decades, researchers at the City University of New York tracked more than 34,000 Americans over the age of 40.

Volunteers recorded meal times and scientists compared them to death rates over the course of the study.

The results, published in the Journal of Nutrition, showed that those who had breakfast between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. were six percent less likely to die prematurely from serious illnesses such as heart disease or cancer than those who regularly consumed breakfast at 8 a.m. breakfast in the morning, and 12 percent lower in risk of premature death than others who first ate at 10 a.m.

Skipping breakfast, or eating too late, is thought to disrupt the body’s “food clock” — the internal programming that controls the release of food-related hormones, such as insulin.

Volunteers recorded meal times and scientists compared them to death rates over the course of the study (stock image)

Volunteers recorded meal times and scientists compared them to death rates over the course of the study (stock image)

This hormone helps burn glucose from the bloodstream and peaks in the early morning.

Eating later can mean that the body gradually produces less insulin and blood glucose levels rise, which can lead to diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

A poll last year found that one in five Britons regularly skipped breakfast altogether and had their first meal in the afternoon.

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