Variable Eating Patterns: A Potential Novel Risk Factor for Systemic Inflammation in Women

Nour Makarem, Faris M. Zuraikat, Billy Caceres, Dorothy D. Sears, Marie Pierre St-Onge, Yue Lai, Brooke Aggarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: The timing and regularity of eating patterns could play a role in systemic inflammation, as circadian clocks responsible for daily rhythms of inflammatory signaling are entrained by food intake. PURPOSE: To evaluate associations of intra-weekly and weekday-weekend differences in eating timing patterns with high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP). METHODS: A community-based sample of 103 U.S. women from the American Heart Association Go Red for Women Strategically Focused Research Network completed a meal-timing questionnaire and provided a blood sample for measurement of hsCRP. Differences in weekday versus weekend eating start time, eating end time, and nightly fasting duration were calculated as eating jetlag metrics. Intra-weekly variability in eating timing patterns was defined by the standard deviation (SD) of these variables. Multivariable linear regression models were used to evaluate cross-sectional associations of eating timing variability metrics with hsCRP. RESULTS: Each additional 30-min difference in weekday-weekend eating end time was related to 13% higher hsCRP (p = .023). Similarly, every 30-min increase in eating end time SD, reflecting greater variability in timing of last eating occasion, was associated with 29% higher hsCRP. Per 1-hr weekday-weekend difference in nightly fasting duration, there was a 45% elevation in hsCRP (p = .003). Every 30-min increase in nightly fasting duration SD, representing greater variability in span of the daily fasting/eating periods, was associated with 46% higher hsCRP. CONCLUSIONS: Variable eating timing patterns were associated with higher hsCRP. Intervention studies are needed to determine whether stabilizing the timing of eating occasions may represent a novel strategy to reduce chronic inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Chronic disease prevention
  • Eating jetlag
  • Eating timing variability
  • Inflammation
  • Women’s health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Variable Eating Patterns: A Potential Novel Risk Factor for Systemic Inflammation in Women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this