Research: Sleeping late may increase your risk of obesity


Late to rise from bed may increase your risk of obesity.

Waking Up
Waking Up

Ben Franklin may be right when he said that “…..early to rise, may make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”.  Based on this statement, he believed that people who were morning folks would be healthier.  Re=cent research from February 2017 appears to support this belief.  

The study, “Chronotype differences in timing of energy and macronutrient intakes: A population-based study in adults:, was published in Obesity[1].  The researchers sought to examine the association between chronotype and timing of energy and macronutrient intakes in adults.  The subjects of the study included over 1800 participants from the National FINRISK 2007 and FINDIET 2007 studies.  They are aged 25 to 74 years.  The study data was assessed through 48-hour dietary recalls and questionnaires.  The study found that, in the morning, evening types had lower energy and macronutrient intakes (except for sucrose of which they had a higher intake) than morning types.  In the evening, evening types had higher intakes of energy, sucrose, fat, and saturated fatty acids than morning types.  On the weekend, chronotype differences in evening intakes of energy, sucrose, and fat intake were more pronounced, and evening types had more eating occasions and more irregular meal times than morning types.  

The bottom line: Sparrows or early morning risers have a healthier energy intake and lower risk of obesity.  Late risers (owls) tend to postpone energy and macronutrient intake.  The timing of evening types with unfavorable dietary patterns may put them at higher risk of obesity and metabolic disturbances in the future.   More research is needed, but this tends to support rising early to prevent obesity, but it may not change is you make the owls wake earlier.  

[1]Maukonen et al., “Chronotype Differences in Timing of Energy and Macronutrient Intakes: A Population-Based Study in Adults.”


  1. Maukonen, Mirkka, Noora Kanerva, Timo Partonen, Erkki Kronholm, Heli Tapanainen, Jukka Kontto, and Satu Männistö. “Chronotype Differences in Timing of Energy and Macronutrient Intakes: A Population-Based Study in Adults.” Obesity 25, no. 3 (February 23, 2017): 608–15.
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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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