The association between meal timing and frequency with cardiometabolic profile in patients with bipolar disorder

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The goal of this study was to explore the association of timing of and frequency of meals with markers of cardiometabolic risk in patients with bipolar disorder in out-patient maintenance treatment.


We used Pittsburgh Sleep Diary and actigraphy measures for individuals with bipolar I disorder. Linear and logistic regression analyses were used to determine whether dinnertime, instability of dinnertime, and/or interval between meals were associated with metabolic syndrome and its components.


Later dinnertime was associated with greater waist circumference (β = 0.25, P = 0.02) after adjusting for age, sex, dinner-to-bed interval, and sleep duration. Longer breakfast-to-lunch intervals were also associated with greater waist circumferences (β =−.35, P = .002) after adjusting for age, sex, and sleep duration. Neither instability of dinnertime nor number of meals per day was associated with the metabolic syndrome or its components.


Weight gain is often perceived as inevitable side-effect of medications. While patients often need to be on medication to function, a more careful lifestyle assessment with attention to social rhythms and timing of activities may be critical not only for mood stability, but also to reduce cardiovascular risk.

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