In an analysis of 28 published studies, night shift work was associated with a 29% increased risk of becoming obese or overweight.
The findings, which were published in Obesity Reviews, suggest that modifying working schedules to avoid prolonged exposure to long-term night shift work might help reduce the risk of obesity.
In the analysis, night shift workers had a higher frequency of developing abdominal obesity than other types of obesity. Permanent night workers demonstrated a higher risk than rotating shift workers.
“Globally, nearly 0.7 billion workers are engaged in a shift work pattern. Our study revealed that much of the obesity and overweight among shift workers is attributable to such a job nature,” said Dr. Lap Ah Tse, senior author of the study. “Obesity has been evident to be positively associated with several adverse health outcomes, such as breast cancer and cardiovascular diseases.”