Why Do We Want to Snack at Night?
Trying to make sense of post-dinner snack cravings, researchers kept 12 adults in a laboratory for 13 days in order to observe their appetites and food choices around the clock. Researchers learned that participants were the least hungry at 8 a.m. and hungriest around 8 p.m., regardless of when their last meal was. They also craved sweet, salty, and starchy foods: the least in the morning and the most in the evening. The researchers say the circadian system—the internal clock that’s also responsible for the sleep cycle—plays a role. The researchers suspect that ancient humans who lived at times when food was scarce may have eaten late because they needed the extra calories before fasting overnight. In modern adults, the practice causes weight gain.
Source: Obesity, March 2013