UNITED STATES—A small study by John’s Hopkins University School of Medicine, published on Thursday, June 11, noted that people who eat a late-night dinner may have higher risks of gaining weight.

Researchers found eating very late increased blood sugar levels and decreased fat digestion, which may lead to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. They also found increased levels of cortisol, a hormone that controls blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and the body’s salt­-water balance. 

The study involved 20 healthy volunteers, who ate an early dinner at 6 p.m. compared to a late dinner at 10 p.m. All went to bed at 11 p.m. Those who had a late-night dinner showed an 18 percent increase in blood sugar levels and a 10 percent decrease in fat digestion. The study was detailed with researchers using activity trackers, body fat scans, and taking blood samples every hour of the 20 participants. The current study provides additional evidence attempting to show a link between eating late and health problems.