News Alert: Nighttime Eating Contributes to Weight Gain
Posted Nov 13 2008 12:00am
by Mallory Creveling, beat blogger
The verdict is in: Nighttime eating contributes to weight gain.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently published a study regarding the prevalence of eating at night and its effects on weight gain.And the results confirmed college students’ fears of nighttime eating and gaining weight.
Researchers admitted healthy, non-diabetic participants into a clinical research unit. The participants consumed standardized meals for three days. Then, the subjects could eat however they pleased from a computer-operated vending machine that recorded the time of food selection. Researchers measured the energy intake, or number of calories consumed, during these days of free-choice meals. Ninety-four participants provided their follow-up weight.
As for the results of the study: 36 percent of the volunteers were nighttime eaters. These late night snack eaters consumed more calories per day than those who did not eat at night, which may have been because 15 percent of their daily energy (or calorie) needs came from night eating. However, the calories from macronutrients did not differ between the two groups. Overall, those who ate at night gained more weight than those who did not purchase food from the vending machine at night.
So if you’re wondering why you’ve gained weight this semester while you’re back at school, it may be because of those late-night snacks at Augies and Insomnia. The excess calories add up to a few extra pounds.
Mallory Creveling is a senior magazine journalism major with a minor in nutrition. Creveling, who was a fitness editorial intern at Shape magazine this past summer, plans to pursue a career in health journalism after graduation. She attributes her internship and writing and researching for on campus publications to her growing knowledge of where and how to research health topics more sufficiently. Creveling is also a senior editor for the print version of What the Health this semester. She will update her column every Thursday with health news alerts on new studies about issues affecting the U.S. population.