In a surprising discovery, scientists have found that artificial light is as strongly linked to weight gain as junk food.
The eye-opening new study was published in the International Journal of Obesity. It found that obesity rates are higher in communities where artificial light overpowers natural darkness.
Researchers analyzed satellite images of nighttime illumination from around the globe. They found that areas of bright light have a higher percentage of overweight and obese people.
The study doesn’t prove lights cause obesity. But the correlation is so strong that it is equal to that between junk food and obesity.
Researchers think light exposure at night causes harmful changes to the body’s natural circadian rhythms. The “false” light wreaks havoc on digestion, which is programmed to work during daylight hours.
Artificial light also suppresses melatonin. This is the hormone that regulates sleep. Several studies have found that melatonin contributes to a healthy weight.2
The take-away message from the new research?
- Limit light exposure after dinner. Use the dimmest light possible for whatever activity you are doing.
- Avoid light-emitting devices such as cellphones, TVs, and computers an hour before bedtime.
- Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible.
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In Good Health,
Publisher, INH Health Watch