Shiftwork and Nutrition

Working night shifts is not always experienced as pleasant. Some workers even get sick of it. This is not surprising since working at night disrupts our natural rhythm of sleeping and eating. As a result, stomach and intestinal complaints, concentration problems and/or fatigue can occur. Also in the long-term, shift workers have a higher risk of noncommunicable diseases.

Research shows that irregular working hours lead to an irregular eating pattern, which contributes to the aforementioned health complaints. In addition, previous studies show that the composition of the diet influences alertness and concentration.

Aim of the project

The aim of this research is to find evidence to support dietary guidelines for shift workers. To this end, we investigate what the best meal timing and meal frequency, and what the optimal diet composition are with respect to macronutrient composition and glycemic index. In this research we study the relationship of these dietary factors with alertness, blood glucose concentrations and gastrointestinal complaints.