Intermittent Fasting Shows 91% Higher Risk For Heart Disease

Food for thought

“The study analyzed data on the dietary habits of 20,000 adults across the United States who were followed from 2003 to 2018. They found that people who adhered to the eight-hour eating plan had a 91 percent higher risk of dying from heart disease compared to people who followed a more traditional dietary pattern of eating their food across 12 to 16 hours each day.”

So in other words… people who know they need to lose weight are more likely to have tried losing weight, and are also more likely to have heart disease.

I guess I’m not surprised, but this article is a big ole nothing burger.


The article doesn’t say they were losing weight or reference any health markers. It may be safe to assume weight loss is the case, but the cohort isn’t defined.

I usually hear people talk about intermittent fasting in “health” circles anyways.

My thought was that expecting the body to process an entire days worth of food in a restricted window puts an unhealthy load on it.

It would be interesting to see the cohort description in any case.

“Based on the evidence as of now, focusing on what people eat appears to be more important than focusing on the time when they eat,” he added.

So they crammed in crap and takeout in a shorter binge session?

I am Brants’ complete lack of suprise.


Definitely a limitation. They don’t specifically mention junk but it’s a plausible assumption.

I would like to see controls and diet quality comparison for sure. It goes without saying that if people are binging junk they will have negative health outcomes, but every time we eat blood sugar values, triglycerides et cetera increase.

It stands to reason that cramming more food per meal to hit macros in a shortened window would magnify the effect and could trigger problems , especially in susceptible people, regardless of food selection. While a fast food cheeseburger would likely contribute more than chicken and rice, both will result in increased values within their respective lanes vs spreading over a full day of smaller meals.

Without reading the study directly it’s hard to know exactly what the parameters were, and if it really was a super healthy diet over the course of a day vs. complete junk in a window then I agree it’s stupid. It’s too bad they don’t elaborate on the piece you quoted.


I feel as though this is like discovering that, whenever we see a gathering of firefighters, there tends to be a fire, and concluding that firefighters cause fires.

We’re observing an instance wherein a population is employing a dietary intervention and that this same population is at increased risk of heart disease. We can conclude that the intervention leads to the disease, but we can also conclude that they were employing the intervention BECAUSE they were at risk of heart disease.


It’s the same as the studies that claim “95% of diets fail”.

Given that the diet is well designed, a diet cannot fail. It is an inanimate object. Adherence to the diet, and therefore the person, fails.


I’ve seen this story before!

I don’t see where this is defined. There is a section discussing people with pre-existing conditions but as an addition to the overall study discussing a general population segment.

The article unfortunately does not define cohort health or dietary choices within the fasting schedule, and this is a large piece to be certain, but I don’t think hard conclusions can be drawn either way.

It’s not my intent to bash the diet, or people utilizing it, but I do find it interesting as a point of reference to consider given its popularity.

Hopefully an article or commentary better defining parameters surfaces.

FWIW, I personally hope it’s a “nothing burger” as @Andrewgen_Receptors refers to it.

I have used the diet and enjoy the results it can deliver without necessarily manipulating or restricting macros overall.

I am curious to see a deeper dive, however. Gorging is not a healthy practice and may be a little extreme to use as a label for the feeding hours, but fits the logic.

The study itself. Those employing intermittent fasting were found to be at higher risk, as has been discussed

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I haven’t read the study, so my opinion is a little meaningless (as always), but I find the headline interesting.

To be fair, any Western cohort is likely to have more than 2/3 of the participants be “sick.” I get all the points about we’re more likely to see the intervention group have negative endpoints simply because they’re the intervention group, but a cohort study can statistically control for this (and the population, as a whole, is so sick it may have just happened naturally). I don’t know if this one did, but I guess I’m saying the headline doesn’t strike me as so ridiculous I shouldn’t read the methods.

All that said, I do hesitate to start guessing at mechanisms in any of these observational reports. Even if it’s the case that IF actually saw a higher incidence of cardiac mortality, and we controlled for as many risk factors as reasonably possible, there’s likely too many variables to even say if fasting was still a meaningful contributor… let alone why.

Long way of saying I’m not really disagreeing with anyone here, but it’s probably worth my time to actually do some reading.
@QuadQueen have you come across this one?


Its the same thing i said, but said better.

You’re probably not trying to diet if you’re not fat, and if you’re not fat, you’re not really at risk of heart disease.

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I understood your point, and TW’s. I don’t necessarily disagree but wouldn’t surmise. I personally see IF employed across spectrums, including maintenance, as a strategy to manage insulin and whatever else while satisfying macros.

The article doesn’t state a cohort of unhealthy people, only IF participants - with an independently highlighted unhealthy contingency. I find this to be of note as it alludes to possible study structure.

My point in highlighting is that it’s certainly worth researching given the salacious determination, but to each their own.

But IF isn’t the only diet option, either. That’s where I’m saying this could still be valuable.

Again, I haven’t even read the abstract, so I’m just spouting unsupported nonsense/ absolute, unassailable Internet expertise.


I have seen the headlines - but it’s an epidemiological study with no control of variables. There are a lot of things we don’t know that we would need to in order to really put any stock in this. As @Brant_Drake pointed out, even one of the researchers made the comment:

It’s not and never has been so much when we choose to eat, but what we choose to eat when we do. FWIW - I would be less concerned with timing and if IF works for you - resulting in less stress, and leaves you looking, feeling and performing better - then it may be a good fit. You just have to be smart about it - make good food choices and don’t use it as an excuse to binge on crap during the “eating window”.

If on the other hand, fasting makes you miserable, you’re zapped of energy, workouts suck, you can’t stop thinking about the next time you get to eat and/or you feel like you might eat your arm - then run from it far and fast.

I definitely wouldn’t base my path forward on one, albeit weak epidemiological study. But that’s just me. lol


I liked how Chris Bell summed this up as “effortless/painless fasting”. It shouldn’t be an act of martyrdom. If it is, now we go into the realm of Nietzsche: you’re engaging in “life-denying” practices.


Anecdotally, I know many who intermittent fast, and none of them are overweight or did it as part of a weight loss quest. They do it mostly for lifestyle and perceived benefits. They are average sized. I would be interested to know if they would be at a higher risk than others who maintain their “averageness” by eating without time-restricted windows.



people that take their info from msn homepage are also convinced ukraine is winning the war

not a fan of IF personally, but one can safely assume that IF does not cause any issues whatsoever. also one will do well ignoring all advice from AHA or any other 3 letter agencies, like ADA etc.
the article also does not contain any reference to the study itself, something which is needed here