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NewsBites August 2011 Issue

Night Owls Unhealthy Eaters

Ben Franklin was onto something with his “early to bed, early to rise” adage, at least when it comes to healthy eating. A new Northwestern University study reports that people who stay up late and sleep late consumed more calories, ate more fast food and downed more sugary sodas than people who kept more Franklin-like hours. Researchers followed 51 people, average age 30, divided into “late sleepers” (who stayed up until 3:45 a.m. and slept until 10:45 a.m.) and “normal sleepers” (in bed by 12:30 a.m. and awake by 8 a.m.). The late sleepers averaged 248 more calories a day, mostly during dinner (about 8:15 p.m.) and in the late evening; eating late was also linked to a higher Body Mass Index (BMI). Late sleepers ate twice as much fast food but only half the fruits and vegetables as the normal sleepers.

TO LEARN MORE: Obesity, online before print, dx.doi.org/10.1038/oby.2011.100.

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