Restricting night-time eating reduces daily energy intake in healthy young men: a short-term cross-over study

Br J Nutr. 2013 Dec 14;110(11):2108-13. doi: 10.1017/S0007114513001359. Epub 2013 May 23.


Few experimental data are available to support the notion that reducing night-time eating changes total daily energy intake (EI) or body weight in healthy adults. The present study primarily examined the short-term effect of night eating restriction (NER) on daily EI in healthy young men. It secondarily examined body weight and moods associated with NER. Using a cross-over design, twenty-nine men (20·9 (sd 2·5) years; 24·4 (sd 2·5) kg/m²) initiated a 2-week NER intervention (elimination of EI from 19.00 to 06.00 hours) and a 2-week control condition, counterbalanced and separated by a 1-week washout period. EI and macronutrient intake were assessed using computerised, multiple-pass 24 h food recalls, body weight via a digital scale and mood using the Profile of Mood States survey. Of the twenty-nine participants, twenty-seven (93 %) completed all aspects of the study. During the NER condition, the participants consumed less total energy per d than during the control condition (10 125 v. 11 146 kJ/d; F= 6·41; P= 0·018). During the NER condition, no energy was reported consumed between 19.00 and 06.00 hours; however, during the control condition, the energy intake of participants was 2920 (sd 1347) kJ/d between 19.00 and 06.00 hours. There was a significant difference in weight change between the NER (-0·4 (sd 1·1) kg) and control (+0·6 (sd 0·9) kg) conditions (F= 22·68; P< 0·001). Differences in total mood score or mood subscales between the NER and control conditions were not apparent (P>0·05). These findings provide support for NER decreasing short-term EI in healthy young men.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diet, Reducing / adverse effects
  • Diet, Reducing / methods*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Energy Intake*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Overweight / prevention & control
  • Patient Compliance
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Utah
  • Young Adult


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Proteins