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Turn Down the Lights at Night
Put away your phone or tablet and turn off that TV in the evening. Exposure to more light at night and less light in the morning increases weight gain, researchers say. In a 2-year study involving more than 1,100 older adults, this pattern of light exposure was associate with weight gain regardless of calorie intake, level of physical activity, and amount of sleep.
During the study, participants wore wrist light meters to measure exposure using a unit called a lux, which is based on the perception of brightness. In participants exposed to bright light in the evenings and nights, waist size and BMI were more likely to increase. Those exposed to bright light in the mornings were more likely to have decreased their waist size and to have lost weight.
While this study was conducted on older adults, researchers say that younger people are more sensitive to light and so may be even more affected. The study results make sense—historically, people have been exposed to bright light during the day and darkness at night.
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