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A long day comes to an end. For dinner is sure to be rewarded with a large, heavy meal. The next morning, makes the determined noticeable on the scale. Is not it? Researchers took up this exciting research question in its analysis. You searched medical databases for trials, was where examined whether a change in calorie intake at night affects the weight. The weight was measured in the studies using the Body Mass Index (BMI for short).

When BMI body weight is considered in relation to your height (kg / m2). If the BMI is 18.5 to 24.9, it is called normal weight. Values ​​below 18.5 are considered underweight, values ​​from 25 considered overweight.

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The period for the dinner came to the time 18:00 to 21:00. For their analysis, the researchers were able to draw on data from different types of studies. In 10 studies were observational studies. In an observational study, two or more groups, which differ in the characteristic to be examined, observed over a specified time period. Group A could be people as an example of a group that always eat a light, small dinner. Group B, however, a group of people that evening rather a lot and eat lush. Using the observational study, we can now determine whether the weight of the people is different after a few years.

Four of the included in the analysis observational studies showed that a big dinner with an increase in BMI was associated persons. However, five other observational studies could find no link between a great dinner and BMI. In another observational study, the BMI decreased the people if they had much ate. In summary, the observational studies could not confirm, therefore, that a big dinner had a negative effect on body weight.

In another type of study, the intervention study, an active change in the study takes place. Group A may be, for example, a group is asked to eat less in the evening here. Group B is the control group, in which anything is changed. At the end of the intervention, it is possible to assess whether the intervention had an impact on body weight by comparing the development of the weight of people in group A and group B. The researchers analyzed eight intervention studies examined subject. Here, too, turned out: people who ate less at night, did not benefit by a weight loss.

In conclusion, this study pointed to the fact that a small dinner did not lead to weight loss. Determines whether it is increasing or decreasing, therefore, does not seem to be the time of eating, but rather the overall energy balance, so that the amount corresponds to supplied energy the amount of energy consumed.


Fong M, Caterson ID, Madigan CD. Are large dinners associated with excess weight, and does eating a smaller dinner achieve greater weight loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Nutr. 2017 Oct; 118 (8): 616-628. doi: 10.1017 / S0007114517002550. Epub 2017 Oct 2nd

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