Working night shifts can make you fat

By Australian Hospital + Healthcare Bulletin Staff
Monday, 09 October, 2017

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If you’re trying to keep the weight off, you may want to rethink working night shifts.

In an analysis of 28 published studies, night shift work was associated with a 29% increased risk of becoming obese or overweight. The findings, published in Obesity Reviews, suggest that modifying working schedules to avoid prolonged exposure to long-term night shift work might help reduce the risk of obesity.

In the analysis, night shift workers had a higher frequency of developing abdominal obesity than other obesity types. Permanent night workers demonstrated a higher risk than rotating shift workers.

“Globally, nearly 0.7 billion workers are engaged in a shift work pattern. Our study revealed that much of the obesity and overweight among shift workers is attributable to such a job nature,” said Dr Lap Ah Tse, senior author of the study. “Obesity has been evident to be positively associated with several adverse health outcomes, such as breast cancer [and] cardiovascular diseases.”

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