Obesity - Staying up late and sleeping in late packs on the pounds

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(Best Syndication News) - A study from researchers at Northwestern Medicine, found that late nighters tend to have bad eating habits and tended to have a higher Body Mass Index (BMI). The researchers found that those who stayed up late and then slept in late in the morning ate less fruit and vegetables, tended to eat more fast food, and drink more sugared sodas. The late night group ate on average 248 more calories each day than the people that slept during normal hours. This study is currently in the published online edition of the journal Obesity.

Co-lead author Kelly Glazer Baron, a health psychologist and a neurology instructor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine warns that these eating habits that late night people have could possibly cause a two-pound per-month weight gain. The person would have to do more exercise to accommodate the extra calorie intake to avoid the weight gain.

Senior author Phyllis Zee, M.D., professor of neurology and director of the Sleep and Circadian Rhythms Research Program at Feinberg and medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Feinberg and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, said that the body's circadian rhythms are related to the Earth's rotation. Zee suggest that if the sleeping and eating patterns don't match up with those rhythms, it could cause appetite and metabolism changes which could lead to gaining weight. Zee said that night-shift workers have a higher risk for obesity, cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and gastrointestinal disorders.

The study involved 23 late nighters and 28 normal sleepers to add up to 51 participants with an average age of 30 year old. Late nighter’s bedtime averaged 3:45 am and woke up at 10:45 am. The late nighters ate breakfast at noon, lunch at 2:30 pm. Then they ate dinner at 8:15 pm and had one additional meal at 10 pm. The normal sleeper’s average waking up time was 8 am. They ate their breakfast by 9 am, and then had lunch around 1 pm. Then they had dinner at 7 pm and then had a final snack at around 8:30 pm. The bedtime for the normal sleepers averaged 12:30 am. The participants were asked to write down their eating and sleeping times in a log. They also wore a wrist actigraph, which measured their sleep and activity behaviors for a minimum of seven days.

The researchers at Northwestern want to continue investigating sleep and metabolism with the circadian rhythms on a larger basis.

BY: N Wilson

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