Why working nightshifts is an obesity risk?

Why working nightshifts is an obesity risk?

The Research:

In communication with the journal, PNAS, the scientists said that our biological cycle is wired to support eating during daytime. Eating at nights tend to mess with our body’s metabolism. Our metabolism is main chemical process that helps us digest food and burn the fat to release energy. With a slower metabolism, the chances of weight gain are much higher. So, if you are working and eating at nights, your body will burn the calories slower and tread you on the path of obesity.

The Trial:

To prove the above given statement, the researchers conducted an experiment. In the trial, volunteers were given equal amount of food and were shifted between day and night. For the first two days, the volunteers were allowed to follow the normal biological cycle. They slept at night, stayed awake during the day, and ate breakfast, lunch and an evening meal. In the next three days, the cycle was reversed. Food and work was shifted to nights. It was ensured that the calorie intake doesn’t change while the time of the meals was altered.


The Results:

For the purpose of the experiment, total energy expenditure for a person was calculated. It was observed that during the night shifts, people burnt lesser calories than they did during the day shifts.

Initially, it was seen that people slept less during the night shifts. This caused an increase in fat expenditure for a short duration. However, over the course of time, when people got adjusted to the night shift pattern, their metabolism slowed down. According to the researchers from University of Colorado, the overall expenditure over the three night shifts was much less than the corresponding day shifts.

The Internal Clock:

Prof Kenneth Wright, who led the whole investigation, relates this change to our biological clock. He mentions that our body has an internal clock for all the activities. As long our activities are in synch with it, the body functions profoundly. But if try to go against our fundamental biology, the results are conditions like obesity. Our internal clock is best suited if we work and eat during day and rest during the night.

Professor Wright calls the Sun a powerful cue to manage our live within our biological clock. According to him, it helps us align our lifestyle. With night shifts, the clock cycle is disrupted. A small change in our clock is considered fine. You can stay up a few hours late or wake up a few hours early, but that too occasionally. But the clock never fully adapts.

So, if you are working those long night shifts and are gaining weight, you might consider what Professor Wright has to say. After all, health is important.

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