The Negative Impact of Night Shifts on Diet in Emergency Healthcare Workers


Despite the consequences of night-shift work, the diet of night-shift workers has not been widely studied. To date, there are no studies related to food intake among emergency healthcare workers (HCWs). We performed a prospective observational study to assess the influence of night work on the diet of emergency HCWs. We monitored 24-h food intake during a day shift and the consecutive night, and during night work and the daytime beforehand. We analyzed 184 emergency HCWs’ food intakes. Emergency HCWs had 14.7% lower (−206 kcal) of their 24-h energy intake during night shifts compared to their day-shift colleagues (1606.7 ± 748.2 vs. 1400.4 ± 708.3 kcal, p = 0.049) and a 16.7% decrease in water consumption (1451.4 ± 496.8 vs. 1208.3 ± 513.9 mL/day, p = 0.010). Compared to day shifts, night-shift had 8.7% lower carbohydrates, 17.6% proteins, and 18.7% lipids. During the night shift the proportion of emergency HCWs who did not drink for 4 h, 8 h and 12 h increased by 20.5%, 17.5%, and 9.1%, respectively. For those who did not eat for 4 h, 8 h and 12 h increased by 46.8%, 27.7%, and 17.7%, respectively. A night shift has a huge negative impact on both the amount and quality of nutrients consumed by emergency healthcare workers.


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