Put Down That Peanut Butter! Late Night Snacking Makes You Fat

September 4, 2009

(ChattahBox)—A new study suggests that bedtime snacking leads to weight gain. It has long been thought by scientists, that the time of day that we ate had something to do with a person’s weight. And now, this new study shows that late night eating contributes to obesity. To combat obesity, that peanut butter sandwich and bowl of ice cream should only be enjoyed during normal waking hours.

The study was conducted by a team of researchers from Northwestern University, Illinois. The researchers woke up a group of mice during their normal sleeping times and fed them a high-fat diet.

After six-weeks of gorging on late night goodies, the mice gained twice as much weight as normal, even though they ate the same diet as other mice and exercised the same amount.

The researchers say weight gain is a complicated process and involves more than “just calories in and calories out.” Eating during our normal sleeping hours not only interferes with normal circadian rhythms, it also causes a lack of proper sleep, which also has been linked to obesity.

The researchers got the idea for the study, when they noticed that late-night shift workers had a tendency to be overweight. Lead researcher, Deanna Arble said, “This got us thinking that eating at the wrong time of day might be contributing to weight gain.”

The researchers realize this is a small-scale study using mice, not humans as subjects, but nevertheless it has implications for obesity in people. Making simple changes in the times of day that we eat, could provide a simple and painless method to combat the growing obesity problem in the United States.

The researchers plan to continue their obesity studies to better understand all the dynamics involved in weight gain.

It’s believed by many scientists that sleep, hormones and body temperature all are linked somehow to weight gain.



2 Responses to “Put Down That Peanut Butter! Late Night Snacking Makes You Fat”

  1. debt help on September 4th, 2009 12:49 pm

    damn they are huge whales

  2. Health Habits on September 5th, 2009 8:43 am

    The study neglects to mention the types of food being eaten by shift workers during their nighttime labor.

    Somehow I don’t think the vending machines and company cafeterias are serving many healthy options.

    I am guessing that shift workers eat a lot of sugar, trans fat and caffeine while they work the graveyard shift.

    However, there probably is still some value in this research. Ayurvedic practitioners have long believed in the body’s natural cycles for eating, digesting and assimilating foods. Western medicine is only a few thousand years behind the times


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