Thanks for sharing some of the latest studies on this fascinating topic. I completely agree that TRF and IF can be a successful weight loss strategy for some people.
My sense from browsing the studies is that much of the benefit of TRF and IF can be explained by the fact that we tend to eat less when our eating window is narrowed. This is my personal experience as well. Could the weight loss (due to caloric restriction) then explain the insulin benefits? You do mention this point but I feel it could be made more clear that this is a big part of the answer, and that you don’t need to invoke any metabolic magic.
I also want to say, with all respect, that I take issue with your conflating of correlation and causation as you attempt to link the rise of snacking with the rise in obesity in China. Many other aspects of diet and lifestyle also changed dramatically in this same span of many decades. To pull one out — such as snacking — and imply that it’s the cause is simply not the type of rigorous science I support.