Abstract

The aim of the paper is to review the current evidence on the impact of ‘the timing of energy intake’ on the risk of developing obesity and obesity-related metabolic diseases. The prevalence of obesity is currently increasing worldwide thus becoming a severe health burden for most countries. Indeed, obesity represents a risk factor for several non-communicable diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidaemia, CVD and overall mortality. In order to treat obesity, several pharmacological approaches have been developed and are indicated for subjects with obesity with a BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 or ≥ 27 kg/m2 and obesity-related comorbidities. For severe obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2), bariatric surgery represents a promising approach. The most common bariatric surgical procedures are represented by the Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, laparoscopic adjustable band, laparoscopic gastric sleeve and biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch. Both anti-obesity pharmacological and surgical treatments require change in lifestyle. When a nutritional plan is established, attention is usually paid to macronutrient composition and energy intake, while ‘the time of food’ is not taken into account. Chronotype, which is the attitude of a subject to carry out most of their daily activities in the first (morning chronotype) or second half (evening chronotype) of the day, has been reported to have a role in the pathogenesis of obesity and obesity-related cardiometabolic diseases as well as eating speed. Thus, adopting a physiological timing of energy intake could be an additional strategy to potentiate the current anti-obesity approaches.

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