Work­ing night shift does make you fat, re­search shows

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

PEO­PLE who work night shifts are more likely to pile on the pounds be­cause they burn less en­ergy, sci­en­tists claim.

But re­search has failed to pro­vide a clear rea­son. Now, US re­searchers say they have a rea­son – and it’s be­cause shift work­ers over­all burn less en­ergy – and un­less they re­duce their food in­take, it is enough to cause weight gain.

Re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Colorado Hos­pi­tal ex­am­ined 15 healthy adults over six days.

For the first two days, the group fol­lowed a nor­mal sched­ule, sleep­ing at night and stay­ing awake dur­ing the day. They then switched to a three-day shift work sched­ule, when their rou­tines were re­versed.

Se­nior au­thor Dr Ken­neth Wright said: “When peo­ple are on a shift work-type sched­ule, their daily en­ergy ex­pen­di­ture is re­duced and un­less they were to re­duce their food in­take, this by it­self could lead to weight gain.”

The par­tic­i­pants’ meals were con­trolled, and they were given the amount of food they would nor­mally need to eat at home to main­tain their cur­rent weight.

When they switched to the shift-work sched­ule, the tim­ing of meals changed but the amount of calo­ries re­mained the same.

Those tak­ing part were given the same eight-hour sleep op­por­tu­nity, re­gard­less of whether those hours were sched­uled dur­ing the day or night.

The sci­en­tists found to­tal daily en­ergy used by the par­tic­i­pants de­creased when they started evening shift work. – Daily Mail

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