What you eat matters. Many studies have shown that the types of food you eat affect your health. But what about the timing? Scientists are just beginning to understand that when you eat may also make a difference.

Throughout history, people have experienced periods when food was either scarce or completely lacking, says Dr. Valter Longo, an NIH-funded longevity researcher at the University of Southern California. “So, they were forced to fast,” he says.

But current technology—like refrigeration, transportation, and electric lighting—have made food more readily available.

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