Working night shift does make you fat, research shows
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