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Night shift work linked to higher risk of obesity: study

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Hong Kong – Night shift workers are at an increased risk of becoming obese or overweight, according to new research by Chinese and Dutch scientists.

After analyzing 28 published studies that examined the relationship between shift work and obesity, researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Utrecht University found that permanent night shift workers were 29 percent more likely to develop obesity or become overweight than rotating shift workers.

“Globally, nearly [700 million] workers are engaged in a shift work pattern,” Dr. Lap Ah Tse, senior author of the study, said in a press release. “Our study revealed that much of the obesity and overweight among shift workers is attributable to such a job nature. Obesity has been evident to be positively associated with several adverse health outcomes, such as breast cancer and cardiovascular diseases.”

The researchers suggest workers, especially permanent night shift workers, modify their schedules, if possible.

The study was published online Oct. 4 in Obesity Reviews.

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