Research interests

The importance of meal timing is nicely illustrated by the well-known parental advice to “eat your breakfast; it’s the most important meal of the day”. Lately this parental advice is getting more and more scientific support, as recently it has been shown that skipping breakfast is associated with an array of unhealthful outcomes, including body weight gain, overweight and obesity. The mechanism for these unfavorable outcomes is not clear, but several studies have shown that when breakfast is skipped, total energy intake increases throughout the day, especially in the evening. Moreover, the types of food consumed at breakfast may differ considerably from those consumed later in the day. In addition, not only skipping breakfast, also extra snack moments during the day or eating during the night can trigger disorders of metabolism.
The current project aims to 1) unravel the mechanisms that are responsible for the deleterious effects of a changed timing of meals on glucose and lipid metabolism, and 2) reveal the neuro-anatomical pathways in the hypothalamus, in particular in the biological clock, that are implicated in the control of the circadian timing system over energy metabolism.



ID: 76731