Influence of the feeding frequency on nutrient utilization in man: consequences for energy metabolism.
A study was conducted to investigate whether there is a diurnal pattern of nutrient utilization in man and how this is affected by meal frequency to explain possible consequences of meal frequency for body weight regulation. When the daily energy intake is consumed in a small number of large meals, there is an increased chance to become overweight, possibly by an elevated lipogenesis (fat synthesis and accumulation) or storage of energy after the meal. Thirteen subjects, two males and eleven females, were fed to energy balance in two meals per day (gorging pattern) and seven meals per day (nibbling pattern) over 2-day intervals. On the second day on each feeding regimen, the diurnal pattern of nutrient utilization was calculated from simultaneous measurements of oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production and urinary nitrogen excretion over 3 h intervals in a respiration chamber. A gorging pattern of energy intake resulted in a stronger diurnal periodicity of nutrient utilization, compared to a nibbling pattern. However, there were no consequences for the total 24 h energy expenditure (24 h EE) of the two feeding patterns (5.57 +/- 0.16 kJ/min for the gorging pattern; 5.44 +/- 0.18 kJ/min for the nibbling pattern). Concerning the periodicity of nutrient utilization, protein oxidation during the day did not change between the two feeding patterns. In the gorging pattern, carbohydrate oxidation was significantly elevated during the interval following the first meal (ie from 1200 h to 1500 h, P less than 0.01) and the second meal (ie from 1800 h to 2100 h, P less than 0.05). The decreased rate of carbohydrate oxidation observed during the fasting period (from rising in the morning until the first meal at 1200 h), was compensated by an increased fat oxidation from 0900 to 1200 h to cover energy needs. In the nibbling pattern, carbohydrate and fat oxidation remained relatively constant during the active hours of the day.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)