Intermittent fasting (IF) is a diet in which you only eat during a certain time frame (usually 8 hours) and don’t eat for the rest of the day. It has a number of health benefits.
People who want to lose weight as a way to improve their health through their diet have turned to intermittent fasting (IF). A new study, on the other hand, has found that this way of eating can have dangerous side effects.
The Canadian Study of Adolescent Health Behaviors data were looked at for the new study, which was published in the journal Eating Behaviors. Based on information about more than 2,762 teenagers and young adults, the results showed that 38.4% of men, 47.7% of women, and 52% of transgender or gender non-conforming people had used intermittent fasting over the course of a year.
The people who did the study found that there was a strong link between intermittent fasting and disordered eating. For women, this meant binge eating, throwing up, and working out too much, while men tended to do the latter.
According to EurekAlert!, the study’s lead author, Kyle T. Ganson, Ph.D., MSW, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, said, “Given our findings, it is concerning how common intermittent fasting was in our sample.”
Jason M. Nagata, MD, MSc, an assistant professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and co-author of the study, said, “The links found between intermittent fasting and eating disorder behaviors are especially important because eating disorders have gotten much worse among teens and young adults since the COVID-19 pandemic began.”
Mary Curnutte, MS, RD, LD, of the Louisville Center for Eating Disorders, tells Eat This, Not That!, “The study shows a link that we already see in real life.” “Intermittent fasting is often started by clients who want to “get healthy” because it is seen as a healthy habit.
But limiting what we eat can lead to other extreme ways of eating. If you don’t pay attention to your hunger, it can grow, which can lead to overeating and binge eating. These actions can also make people do things to make up for them, like over-exercising or throwing up.”
“Also, people who have restrictive eating disorders may find that the limits of intermittent fasting make them want to eat less,” says Curnutte. “I’m glad to see a study that uses a large data set to show that these links are real, so we can tell other people to be careful about intermittent fasting.”
Curnutte also says, “People who have ever had an eating disorder should never, ever do intermittent fasting.” Also, “people who feel like they have a hard time with food should stay away from this.”
Curnutte has this to say to people who are interested in intermittent fasting: “Our bodies fast on their own while we sleep. When you stop eating for a whole day, your body will get these fasting benefits.
If someone wants to do intermittent fasting for longer than the overnight fast we all do when we sleep, I recommend they talk to a Registered Dietitian about it to make sure they aren’t missing something important that could hurt their body.”