(HealthDay News) — Evening preference and a later breakfast are associated with elevated body mass index (BMI) in adults with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online in Diabetic Medicine.

Hataikarn Nimitphong, MD, from Mahidol University in Bangkok, and colleagues examined the correlations among meal timing, morning-evening preference, and BMI in 210 non-shift workers with type 2 diabetes. Morning-evening preference was assessed using the Composite Scale of Morningness, while one-day food recall was used to assess meal timing and daily calorie intake.

The researchers found that a higher BMI was correlated with greater evening preference (P=0.019) and with late breakfast time (P=0.053). There were no correlations for BMI with other mealtimes or calorie intake. Evening preference was significantly associated with late breakfast time (P<0.001). The correlation between morning-evening preference and BMI was mediated by breakfast time; morning preference was correlated with earlier breakfast time and 0.37 kg/m² lower BMI. There was a non-significant correlation for the direct relationship between BMI and morning-evening preference.

“These results suggest that circadian preference and meal timing are novel and possibly modifiable risk factors for obesity in type 2 diabetes,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Nimitphong H, Siwasaranond N, Saetung S., Thakkinstian A, Ongphiphadhanakul B, Reutrakul S. The relationship among breakfast time, morningness–eveningness preference and body mass index in Type 2 diabetes. Diab Med. DOI:10.1111/dme.13642