Sat, Jan 24, 2015 - Page 10 News List

Why working night shifts is an obesity risk

Patients at Greater Taichung’s China Medical University Hospital on Apr. 10, 2013, model the pants they wore pre-diet to show how much weight they lost over three months.

Photo: Tsai Shu-yuan, Liberty Times

Scientists believe they have discovered why people who work nightshifts are more prone to weight gain and obesity. Rather than eating more, night workers burn off fewer calories, their research suggests.

The scientists told the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that eating at night messed with our bodies’ natural metabolism.

The researchers set up a small trial where volunteers ate identical amounts as they switched between working days and nights.

For the first two days, the volunteers followed a normal schedule — sleeping at night, staying awake during the day, and eating breakfast, lunch and an evening meal. For the next three, they stayed awake and ate their meals at night and slept during the day. Although the timing of the meals changed, the calorie content remained the same.

Total energy expenditure — how much energy the volunteers burned — went down when they switched to the nightshift pattern. Even though participants initially burned more fat — possibly because they slept less during the transition to nights, say the researchers from the University of Colorado — the energy expenditure over the three days of shift work was lower overall.









1. prone to adj. phr.

易於;有…傾向的 (yi4 yu2; you3…qing2 xiang4 de)

例: She is prone to exaggerate. You need not believe everything she says.


2. burn off v. phr.

消耗;燃燒 (xiao1 hao4; ran2 shao1)

例: Running is an excellent way to burn off excess calories.


3. identical adj.

一模一樣 (yi1 mo2 yi2 yang4)

例: The two rooms were virtually identical.


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