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The time of day and the proportions of macronutrients eaten are related to total daily food intake

  • John M. de Castro (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 November 2007

Intake in the morning is particularly satiating and associated with lower total amounts ingested for the day while intake at night is associated with greater overall daily intake. But, the influence of carbohydrates, fats or proteins ingested at various times of the day is unknown. The intakes of 375 male and 492 female free-living individuals that were acquired with 7 d diet-diary reports were reanalysed. The intakes of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, and the density of intake occurring during three 6 h periods (06.00 to 11.59 hours (morning), 12.00 to 17.59 hours (afternoon) and 18.00 to 23.59 hours (evening)) were identified and related to overall daily and meal intakes. Energy density of intake during all periods was found to be positively related to overall intake. When the proportion of daily carbohydrate ingested in the morning was high, less total food energy and carbohydrate were ingested over the entire day. When the proportion of daily fat ingested in the morning was high, less total food energy and carbohydrate and fat were ingested over the entire day. When the proportion of daily protein ingested in the morning was high, less protein was ingested over the entire day. Conversely, when intake was relatively high in the evening of either total food energy, carbohydrate or fat, then overall daily energy intakes tended to be higher. The results suggest that the morning intake association with reduced total intake is macronutrient specific, with morning carbohydrate, fat and protein intake associated with reduced daily carbohydrate, fat and protein intake, respectively.

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*Corresponding author: Dr John M. de Castro, fax +1 936 294 2207, email
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