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Why Late-Night Eating Leads to Diabetes and Weight Gain

According to the CDC, 37.3 million Americans have diabetes, which is 11.3% of the US population. An additional 96 million Americans aged 18 years or older have prediabetes, which is 38.0% of the adult US population.

Obesity is a common, serious, and costly disease, with a US obesity prevalence of 41.9%, according to the CDC.

The connection between eating time, sleep, and obesity is well-known but poorly understood, with research showing that overnutrition can change fat tissue and disrupt circadian rhythms.

New Northwestern research has shown that energy release may be the molecular mechanism through which our internal clocks control energy balance. 

Daytime is the ideal time in the light environment of the Earth’s rotation when it is most optimal to dissipate energy as heat.

The increase in energy expenditure led the team to look into metabolism of fat tissue to see if the same effect occurred within the endocrine organ.

Especially in cases where patients have gastric feeding tubes. Patients are commonly fed at night while they sleep, when they’re releasing the least amount of energy.

Rates of diabetes and obesity tend to be high for these patients, and Bass thinks this could explain why.

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