Researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, said people who eat dinner early may be inadvertently decreasing their risk of prostate and breast cancer. According to a new study published in the ‘’International Journal of Cancer,’ the later you eat dinner, the more likely you are to develop breast and prostate cancers. Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and accounted for 8.8 million death in 2015. Lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach and liver cancer are the most common types of cancer in men, while breast, colorectal, lung, cervix and stomach cancer are the most common among women. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that over 100,000 Nigerians are diagnosed with cancer every year and about 80,000 die from the disease, averaging 240 Nigerians every day or 10 Nigerians every hour, dying from cancer.
The new study analysed 621 individuals with prostate cancer and 1,205 individuals with breast cancer (plus 872 and 1,321 healthy males and females, respectively), collecting data relating to preferred times for dinner and sleep. Dr. Manolis Kogevinas, a research professor at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health and the lead investigator, who led the study, said: “Our study concludes that adherence to diurnal eating patterns is associated with a lower risk of cancer.”
The diurnal eating patterns suggests eating that happen or occur during daylight. Kogevinas added that the findings “highlight the importance of assessing circadian rhythms in studies on diet and cancer.” The researchers believe that their findings could have serious implications for cancer prevention recommendations – which currently don’t take meal timing into account, the ‘Mirror’ reported.
Dr. Kogevinas said: “The impact could be especially important in cultures such as those of southern Europe, where people have supper late.” Similarly, late dinner is common in Nigeria especially among many rural populace. Furthermore, the research team found that individuals who eat dinner before 9:00 p.m. or wait at least two hours after finishing dinner before going to bed have about a 26 per cent lower risk of developing prostate cancer and a 16 per cent lower risk for breast cancer, versus those who eat after 10:00 p.m. or go to bed soon after finishing their last meal of the day.