Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

A time for food

A time for food: The effects of time-restricted feeding on glycaemic control and gut microbiome in individuals with type 2 diabetes

Diet modification is a first-line treatment for individuals with type 2 diabetes, to improve blood glucose control without taking medications. However, altering habitual food intake behaviours requires extensive dietary counselling, support and monitoring from health professionals/dietitians to be successful. Such dietary advice is typically given around the types of foods/beverages consumed but rarely around the timing of energy intake.

Recently, several diets have become popular for weight management which enable energy intake to be reduced throughout the waking cycle, thereby prolonging the period of daily fasting. However, there has been no application of these ‘restricted feeding’ patterns to target glycaemic control. Time-restricted eating (TRE) is one such method of prolonging the period of fasting by reducing the ‘feeding window’ from a typical 14-hour day (i.e. 07:00 to 21:00 h) to a 9-hour window (i.e. 10:00 to 19:00 h). Current research of TRE strategies in humans has only investigated the effects on body weight reduction. By increasing the length of time spent fasting, TRE may improve glycaemic control and be a simple intervention to increase dietary compliance. Improvements in glycaemic control have been linked to cognitive improvements, and therefore secondary outcomes for this investigation include quality of life and cognition. 

The aim of this project is to determine the feasibility of a TRE pattern (eating within 8-9 h/day) as a practical dietary intervention to improve glycaemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Using a combination of metabolome, microbiome and psychological analyses we will take a systems biology approach to advance our understanding of the efficacy of TRE as an effective clinical nutrition strategy. 

The project is funded by an early career researcher fellowship from the European Society of Clinical Nutrition and is currently recruiting for participants. For information on participating or referring individuals please see


European Society of Clinical Nutrition


Dr Evelyn Parr, ACU
Dr Brooke Devlin, ACU
Professor John Hawley, ACU
Associate Professor Leah Brennan, ACU
Professor David Broadhurst, Edith Cowan University
Dr Claus Christophersen, Edith Cowan University and Curtin University