US researchers have revealed that those who sleep less usually eat more, and do so without even noticing even noticing it.
A smartphone app was given to 150 people who were asked to snap photos of all the things they drank and ate. The study lasted for three (3) weeks and once the researchers had all the data, they noticed that when a person got only a few hours of sleep, they tended to eat more. But when the same person got a few more hours of sleep, they tended to eat less.
Overall, most Americans spent their days munching down on various foods and beverages throughout a period of 15 hours. They also consumed less than a quarter of their daily dose of calories before noon, whereas more than 35 percent (35%) of their calories were consumed after 6 p.m.
Satchidananda Panda, field expert working at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies (California) and co-author of the study, offered a statement informing that “Most people think they eat three meals and a snack or two within a 10-12 hour window, but we found the majority spread their caloric intake over a very long time”.
This points at two (2) problems. One of them is that consuming food and beverages over an extended period of time increases a person’s chances of consuming larger quantities of them. The more often someone starts to eat, the more likely they are to overeat.
The other problem is that consuming a significant amount of food and beverages late in the evening “confuses our body’s biological clock and predisposes us to obesity, diabetes, fatty liver disease, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease” according to Panda.
The good news is that people still have hope of changing their eating and drinking habits for the better. Many recent studies have found that when people realize just how much they eat and drink, it alarms them and causes them to actively reduce the quantities that they consume.
But this is also why Panda and Shubhroz Gill, the other field expert working at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and co-author of the study had to find a creative approach for their study. If the study subjects would have been permitted to store the images in their phones, this would have influenced how they behaved and changed the results.
So what happened was that the duo developed an app that erased the photos right after the subjects’ phones saved them. This way, the subjects were able to remain unaware of how much food they ate and how many beverages they drank, and the results reflect their typical behaviors.
Once all of the data came in and the research duo started to analyze it, they concluded that the more hours people spent awake, the more they consumed food and beverages. But it’s important to mention that the project was not designed to explore whether or not telling people to cut down on the number of hours spent eating and drinking on a daily basis would impact the quantity.
Another finding worth mentioning is that people prefer to consume different foods and beverages depending on the hour. For instance, most individuals favor drinking coffee in the early hours of the day and drinking alcoholic beverages in the late hours of the day.
Tea was consumed all throughout the day, and desserts like candy and chocolate were consumed starting with 10 a.m.
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