The timing of food intake has been associated with obesity and adverse metabolic outcomes, independently of the amount or content of food intake and activity level. However, the impact of the variability in the timing of food intake between weekends and weekdays on BMI (body mass index) remains unexplored. To address that, we propose to study a marker of the variability of meal timing on weekends versus weekdays (denominated as ‘eating jet lag’) that could be associated with increments in BMI..
Our results revealed a positive association between eating jet lag and BMI (p = 0.008), which was independent of the chronotype and social jet lag. Further analysis revealed the threshold of eating jet lag was of 3.5 h or more, from which the BMI could significantly increase. These results provided evidence of the suitability of the eating jet lag, as a marker of the variability in meal timing between weekends and weekdays, for the study of the influence of meal timing on obesity. In a long run, the reduction of the variability between meal timing on weekends versus weekdays could be included as part of food timing guidelines for the prevention of obesity among general population.