Effects of Providing High-Fat versus High-Carbohydrate Meals on Daily and Postprandial Physical Activity and Glucose Patterns: a Randomised Controlled Trial Academic Article uri icon


  • We determined the effects of altering meal timing and diet composition on temporal glucose homeostasis and physical activity measures. Eight sedentary, overweight/obese men (mean ± SD, age: 36 ± 4 years; BMI: 29.8 ± 1.8 kg/m²) completed two × 12-day (12-d) measurement periods, including a 7-d habitual period, and then 5 d of each diet (high-fat diet [HFD]: 67:15:18% fat:carbohydrate:protein versus high-carbohydrate diet [HCD]: 67:15:18% carbohydrate:fat:protein) of three meals/d at ±30 min of 0800 h, 1230 h, and 1800 h, in a randomised order with an 8-d washout. Energy intake (EI), the timing of meal consumption, blood glucose regulation (continuous glucose monitor system (CGMS)), and activity patterns (accelerometer and inclinometer) were assessed across each 12-d period. Meal provision did not alter the patterns of reduced physical activity, and increased sedentary behaviour following dinner, compared with following breakfast and lunch. The HCD increased peak (+1.6 mmol/L, p < 0.001), mean (+0.5 mmol/L, p = 0.001), and total area under the curve (+670 mmol/L/min, p = 0.001), as well as 3-h postprandial meal glucose concentrations (all p < 0.001) compared with the HFD. In overweight/obese males, the provision of meals did not alter physical activity patterns, but did affect glycaemic control. Greater emphasis on meal timing and composition is required in diet and/or behaviour intervention studies to ensure relevance to real-world behaviours.


  • Parr, Evelyn
  • Devlin, Brooke
  • Callahan, Marcus
  • Radford, Bridget
  • Blankenship, Jennifer
  • Dunstan, David
  • Hawley, John

publication date

  • 2018