When you eat is more important than what you eat, study says.

People who skip meals, eat on the go or late in the evening are less healthy than people who have regular sit-down meals with others, a study has found.

The authors of the analysis into the nutritional effects of eating habits have now suggested that meal times and recommendations on social eating should feature in national dietary guidelines.

The scientists, from Kings College London and the University of So Paulo, said in a review paper published in the British Journal of Nutrition that further large-scale studies are required to establish the effects of irregular meal times and on the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, the Times reports.

Dr Gerda Pot, lecturer in nutritional sciences at Kings College London and co-author of the review, said: There seems to be some truth in the saying eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. However, this warrants further investigation. 

Whilst we have a much better understanding today of what we should be eating, we are left with the question as to which meal should provide us with the most energy.