Eating During Day May Prevent Obesity With Night Shift

Food intake during normal activity hours also reverses disruption in circadian rhythms in rats
By A. Agrawal, PhD
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, March 11 (HealthDay News) -- Eating during the day prevents the weight gain and disrupted circadian rhythms associated with eating at night in a rat model of shift work, according to a study in the March issue of Endocrinology.

Roberto Salgado-Delgado and colleagues from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México in Mexico City used a model of night work in rats (daily eight hour activity schedules during the resting phase) to investigate the mechanisms underlying conditions such as hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and cancer associated with shift work. Rats were allowed food ad libitum, food restricted during the day, or food restricted during the night.

The researchers found that, while daily total food intake was similar in all groups, food intake during sleep hours was associated with flattened glucose and locomotor rhythms, increased body weight, and abdominal fat accumulation. Food intake restricted to normal activity hours reversed the metabolic disturbances and disruption of circadian rhythms and prevented the weight increase.

"In conclusion, the present study demonstrates that working during sleep hours induces food ingestion and internal desynchrony," Salgado-Delgado and colleagues write. "The findings support the notion that uncoupling feeding-related processes from the light cycle is deleterious for health."

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