Nightly News | January 29, 2013
>>> our health news tonight is on the topic of weight loss a new study may give dieters some fresh ammunition in their fight. according to the new research, which match what is some folks have been saying for some time, timing could be everything when it comes to sensible eating. our report from our chief science correspondent, robert bazell .
>> reporter: when it comes to meals, many of us, like these lunchtime diners in miami, have fairly set schedules.
>> i try not to eat dinner past 6:30.
>> i will usually work out in the morning, then follow it up with breakfast and lunch at noon.
>> reporter: today's study suggests that timing might matter, at least for those who are trying to lose weight .
>> this was the first long-term, large-scale study to really show that the timing of meal intake is important in the success of weight loss therapy.
>> reporter: study looked at overweight women who were on the med ter rarirainian diet, high in fish, vegetables and olive oil . the study was done in spain, where lunch is typically the largest meal of the day. all 420 volunteers consumed the same number of calories, those had had lunch before 3 p.m . lost an average of 22 pounds in 20 weeks, five pounds more than those who ate lunch later. the question of timing and weight gain is not new. many experts say that a cal very a calorie no matter when you eat t even those who say timing is important admit that timing is never more important than how much you eat. still, studies in animals have suggested that meals at different times can affect the biological clocks in our bodies.
>> food acts as a signal of time to all the cells in our body, including for the liver and fat tissue.
>> thank you. bye.
>> reporter: but today's news may not be practical for many busy americans.
>> i'm the mother of a 2 1/2-year-old and a 6-month-old. so, my eating habits more so depend on their addetting habits.
>> when i have a spare moment is when i eat. so, if that's at 3:00, that's at 3:00. if it's at noon, it's at noon.
>> reporter: the latest study suggested noon may be better. robert bazell , nbc news, new york.