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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(6), 603; doi:10.3390/ijerph13060603

Increased Eating Frequency Is Associated with Lower Obesity Risk, But Higher Energy Intake in Adults: A Meta-Analysis

1
Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Wuhan University, 185 East Lake Road, Wuhan 430071, China
2
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Wuhan University, 185 East Lake Road, Wuhan 430071, China
3
Department of Nutrition, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, 1215 West Cumberland Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37996, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 21 April 2016 / Revised: 9 June 2016 / Accepted: 14 June 2016 / Published: 17 June 2016
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Abstract

Body weight is regulated by energy intake which occurs several times a day in humans. In this meta-analysis, we evaluated whether eating frequency (EF) is associated with obesity risk and energy intake in adults without any dietary restriction. Experimental and observational studies published before July 2015 were selected through English-language literature searches in several databases. These studies reported the association between EF and obesity risk (odd ratios, ORs) in adults who were not in dietary restriction. R software was used to perform statistical analyses. Ten cross-sectional studies, consisting of 65,742 participants, were included in this analysis. ORs were considered as effect size for the analysis about the effect of EF on obesity risk. Results showed that the increase of EF was associated with 0.83 time lower odds of obesity (i.e., OR = 0.83, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 0.70–0.99, p = 0.040). Analysis about the effect of EF on differences in participants’ energy intake revealed that increased EF was associated with higher energy intake (β = 125.36, 95% CI 21.76–228.97, p = 0.017). We conclude that increased EF may lead to lower obesity risk but higher energy intake. Clinical trials are warranted to confirm these results and to assess the clinical practice applicability. View Full-Text
Keywords: eating frequency; obesity risk; energy intake; meta-analysis eating frequency; obesity risk; energy intake; meta-analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, Y.-Q.; Zhang, Y.-Q.; Zhang, F.; Zhang, Y.-W.; Li, R.; Chen, G.-X. Increased Eating Frequency Is Associated with Lower Obesity Risk, But Higher Energy Intake in Adults: A Meta-Analysis. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 603.

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