Skipping meals may seem like a good way to lose weight, but a new study finds it may backfire, resulting in excess belly fat.
An Ohio State University research team wanted to learn what happens when people eat all their food as a single meal, fasting the rest of the day. They created an experiment using mice to find out.
Scientists placed half a group of mice on a restricted diet that allowed them eat only at one time during the day. The others were given unrestricted access to food.
The mice placed on the restricted diet initially lost weight, but then developed gorging behavior and regained it.
Not only that, the researchers found that they added fat to their middles - the equivalent to human belly fat.
An excess of belly fat is associated with insulin resistance and chronic bodily inflammation, conditions that increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes, the researchers noted.
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