THURSDAY, June 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Meal types as well as snack types and timing are associated with mortality risks, according to a study published online June 23 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Wei Wei, Ph.D., from Harbin Medical University in China, and colleagues examined the associations between consumption time of different foods and cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, and all-cause mortality among 21,503 participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The researchers found 2,192 deaths were documented during the 149,875 person-years of follow-up, including 676 deaths because of CVD and 476 because of cancer. Participants consuming fruit-lunch had lower risks for all-cause and CVD mortality (hazard ratios [HRs], 0.82 and 0.66, respectively), while those consuming Western-lunch had increased CVD mortality (HR, 1.44). Lower risks for all-cause, CVD, and cancer mortality were seen (HRs, 0.69, 0.77, and 0.63, respectively) for participants who consumed vegetable-dinner. For snack patterns, lower all-cause and cancer mortality risks were seen with consumption of fruit-snack after breakfast (HRs, 0.78 and 0.55, respectively), while dairy-snack after dinner was associated with lower risks for all-cause and CVD mortality (HRs, 0.82 and 0.67, respectively). Consumption of a starchy-snack after meals was associated with an increased risk for all-cause (HRs, 1.50, 1.52, and 1.50 after breakfast, lunch, and dinner, respectively) and CVD (HRs, 1.55, 1.44, and 1.57 after breakfast, lunch, and dinner, respectively) mortality.

“Our results revealed that the amount and the intake time of various types of foods are equally critical for maintaining optimal health,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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