Intermittent Fasting Study

Thank you for your interest in this study that is funded by the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The study is being led by University of Toronto Professors Drs. Amy Kirkham and Jenna Gillen, who study non-drug methods to improve women’s health.

We are enrolling women across Ontario who are aged 50 or older. You can live anywhere in Ontario with access to a Lifelabs location to participate.

We are studying a format of intermittent fasting called ‘time-restricted eating.’ Time-restricted eating is a popular eating strategy that simply involves eating only within a set time window, commonly 8 hours, followed by a water-only fast for the remaining 16 hours of the day. You can eat whatever and as much as you like during the set eating window.

Study Banner


Other studies have shown that time-restricted eating can improve a number of health outcomes relevant to prevention of breast cancer, but also cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, such as:

  • Blood sugar levels
  • Metabolism
  • Weight management
  • Inflammation
  • Blood pressure and lipids


Study Goals

To evaluate different methods for delivering a time-restricted eating intervention remotely and to measure how well it works to reduce various risk factors for breast cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes in women.


Are you Eligible?

In addition to being female, aged 50 or older, and have access to a Lifelabs location in Ontario, you must meet the following criteria to participate:

  • Have a smart phone with Bluetooth capability
  • Have pre-diabetes OR type 2 diabetes, OR risk factors for diabetes including having overweight/obese status (based on body mass index), have high blood pressure, have a history of gestational diabetes (during pregnancy), have a family history of diabetes, be from South or East Asian ethnic groups. Completing the screening survey below will determine if you meet the criteria.
  • Not be taking exogenous insulin, sulfonylurea or GLP-1 agonist types of anti-diabetic medication (metformin is ok)


What Does the Study Involve?

Participation in the study involves being asked to follow a time-restricted eating pattern for 16 weeks with check-in and support from either study staff or another woman in the study following the same eating pattern. You will be asked to go to Lifelabs for a blood draw before and after the 16 weeks, and will be mailed a Fitbit wrist band and smart scale, blood pressure monitor, and a continuous glucose monitor with instructions to perform these measurements on yourself at home. You can keep all of these items after the study is finished.


Want to Learn More? Contact Us!

If this sounds interesting and you would like to learn more about participating, the first step will be to complete a survey to determine if you meet the initial eligibility criteria for the study. If your responses suggest that you may be eligible, you will be asked to provide your first name and an email address at the end of the survey, and book a time to speak to a study team member by phone. During the phone call, the rest of the details of the study will be explained to you so that you can decide if you want to participate. Access the survey link here: