IF may be great but it is definitely also riding a diet fad wave right now.
At least IF doesn't involve the sale of anything... that elevates it above almost all the recent diet fads where you end up buying lots of highly processed supplements.
The reference I have handy shows that Americans average 5 meals/snacks per day now: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29574043 although I’ve seen even higher numbers (closer to 6) mentioned.
Ah, found a source analyzing eating frequency (and timing) changes since 1977: https://idmprogram.com/the-critical-importance-of-meal-timin...
I don't consider myself as someone who fasts and it is typically 13-14 hours from my supper to my breakfast.
Eat dinner around 6-7PM
Eat breakfast around 7:30-8AM
My schedule I would assume is shifted forward from say my grandparents schedule. They would have eaten dinner & breakfast earlier due to differences in work hours 50+ years ago.
If that's fasting it seems like a strange/new definition. But maybe a lot of people are indeed still eating something substantial closer to midnight as they watch TV or something?
I actually spread out my lunch into several smaller meals during the day.
But I also exercise a lot, and I'm not buying lunch like so many engineers I work with. My lunch is 1/4-1/2 the size of a sit down restaurant meal.
The old norm was so much more physical activity than today too.
One of those articles is totally right about kids though. When I was a kid I took a lunch to school and that was the only time I ate. My son is going into first grade and all the day cares he went to and his current school have dedicated snack times, 2-3 extra times eating that are not lunch. The day care that had 3 snack times porked the kids up pretty good.
Sadly, due to snacking and the misconception that they should eat as soon as they get up, I suspect that most Americans probably have an eating window that spans 14-16h instead of 8-10h (which has been RCT’d to show a significant difference in hunger and ad libitum food consumption).