The effect of shift‐work on food intake and eating habits

S.L. Reeves (Senior Lecturer, Roehampton University of Surrey, London, UK)
E. Newling‐Ward (Student, Roehampton University of Surrey, London, UK)
C. Gissane (Teacher at a Secondary School in Surrey, UK)

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Publication date: 1 October 2004


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of shift work on food intake and eating patterns in order to assess the impact of this on health. A total of 36 shift workers were measured anthropometrically and were asked to complete food diaries for six consecutive days, and a lifestyle questionnaire. The results revealed night workers did not eat more than day workers, but ate smaller meals and snacks over a greater time frame. Night‐shift workers revealed significant differences (p< 0.05) in food intake patterns on work and rest days, while day workers did not. Because shift work is a factor in the timing of food consumption, and typically there is a lack of good food facilities at night, it is suggested that this has the potential to cause difficulties in the establishment of healthy eating patterns. Employers may wish to review the food and dining facilities available for night staff to maximize healthy eating options.



Reeves, S., Newling‐Ward, E. and Gissane, C. (2004), "The effect of shift‐work on food intake and eating habits", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 34 No. 5, pp. 216-221.

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