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Nighttime Light Exposure Suspected Factor in Soaring Obesity Rate

Released: 27-Mar-2014 1:00 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: Endocrine Society
Contact Information

Available for logged-in reporters only

Washington, DC—The growth of waistlines over the past few decades coincided with a major societal change – increased exposure to electric lights during the night. Whether the source is the tiny screens of mobile devices or overhead lamps, nighttime light exposure is disrupting circadian rhythms and likely fueling obesity rates, according to a new review of past research published today in the Endocrine Society’s journal Endocrine Reviews.

Endocrine Society member Eve Van Cauter PhD, an expert on sleep, health and metabolism, and Endocrine Reviews article author Laura Fonken, PhD, are prepared to offer comment on many aspects of this issue, including:

• What impact does nighttime light exposure have on circadian rhythms and metabolism?
• How widespread is the problem of exposure to unnatural light cycles?
• What effect does sleep disturbance have on eating habits and weight?
• Why has nighttime light exposure been considered innocuous for such a long time?
• What can be done to counter the metabolic effects of nighttime light exposure?

WHO:
Endocrine Society Spokeswoman Eve Van Cauter, PhD
Frederick H. Rawson Professor of Medicine
University of Chicago

Endocrine Reviews article author Laura Fonken, PhD
Wexner Medical Center
The Ohio State University

WHAT:
A new review identifies a growing body of evidence showing pervasive nighttime light exposure disrupts circadian rhythms and may contribute to rising obesity rates in developed nations. The review is being published in the Endocrine Society’s journal Endocrine Reviews.

CONTACT: To schedule interviews, please contact Jenni Glenn Gingery at jgingery@endocrine.org or 202-971-3655.

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Founded in 1916, the Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, the Endocrine Society’s membership consists of over 17,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in more than 100 countries. Society members represent all basic, applied and clinical interests in endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is based in Washington, DC. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at www.endocrine.org. Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/EndoMedia.

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