April 11, 2011 07:18
Lack of sleep can cause people of normal weight to eat more, a study concludes. A team led by Marie-Pierre St-Onge at Columbia University observed 13 men and 13 women who had only four hours of sleep for the first six days and nine hours of sleep in the next six and studied their eating habits.
The result was that men consumed 263 more calories and women 329 when they had only four hours of sleep compared to the days when they were given nine hours. The excess was mostly from saturated fat, which tends to gather around the waist.
"Our data show that reducing sleep increases energy and fat intakes, which may explain some of the association observed between sleep and obesity. If sustained, the dietary choices made by individuals undergoing short sleep would predispose one to obesity and increased risk of cardiovascular disease," the authors write.
Their study was presented at the American Heart Association's Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism/Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention conference on March 22-25 in Atlanta.
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