It is unhealthy to skip meals

Dear doctor; I have been skipping dinner, do I stand any health risk.

Dear doctor;

I have been skipping dinner, do I stand any health risk.


Dear Nicole,
It is important to have 3 or 4 small meals regularly for good health. Missing meals is not a good idea. Many people skip dinner with desire to lose weight. But at the next opportunity tend to eat more thus negating the effects of missing a meal.

Taking meals regularly tends to neutralize the acid produced in the stomach as a protective agent. If a meal is missed, the acid tends to rise causing bilious taste in mouth, burning pain in chest, abdomen and or nausea and vomiting. This also tends to destroy appetite.

Overall digestion is also impaired with missed meals because eating 2, 3 times per day confers with normal physiology of the body. It is more healthy than having one heavy meal at a time.  One can have constipation if the dinner is missed because the bulk necessary to move the colon is not formed.

Missing meals also increases the risk of blood glucose going down(hypoglycemia), manifesting as vague weakness, sweating, sensation of fainting, e.t.c. Diabetic patients are more at risk of developing severe hypoglycemia if they miss a meal. Missing a meal after taking insulin or oral drugs can be fatal.

The risk of forming gall stones is increased if any meal is skipped regularly because cholesterol formed in body is not cleared by bile which is released in response to food eaten. Overall nutritional status of a person can be affected by missing a meal regularly. Because a big  bulk of food taken one time is not assimilated as well as 2 or 3 small meals.

All these risks are increased much more if dinner is missed. Normally from dinner time till next morning, there is a gap of 8-10 hours or even longer till the next meal or something going in stomach even in liquid form like tea or coffee. Hence it is important to take meals regularly including dinner. If a person desires to lose weight or avoid gaining weight, choice of food can be a fiber rich, low fat diet, that is more of vegetables and fruits. One can take only salads for dinner. But skipping it altogether is not a good idea.