Night Eaters Pack On Pounds

Although Dagwood Bumstead of Blondie comics fame was able to maintain a lean physique gobbling triple-decker pastrami on rye sandwiches in the middle of the night, real people typically wake up in worse shape for the effort. Australian research published in the International Journal of Obesity found that night eaters make up about 11% of the population and are more likely to be men. Characteristically, they have trouble sleeping 3 nights a week and will wake up just to raid the icebox. Night eaters consume at least 50% of their calories after 7PM and don't usually eat breakfast. Not only are night eaters fatter than the general population, but they suffer from depression to a greater degree.

The Bigger Picture: Nocturnal eating syndrome, as it's known in the medical community, is not currently recognized as an eating disorder. Still, if you notice your eating habits gravitating toward the wee hours, it might be time to talk with a medical professional. Other studies have found that starting your day with a healthy breakfast and consuming 5 to 7 small meals throughout the day can be an effective way to keep your metabolism burning calories while keeping your appetite under control.
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