Thank You Canyon Pizza


| 6 Comments
Earlier during this blogging period, I wrote a blog that addressed our common food cravings and what these really mean. Hannah Finger commented on my blog and pointed out the struggle with late-night cravings. I found this to be especially relevant and also troublesome. As a stereotypical freshman, I often times find myself out late at night on weekends. As I walk through the Beaver Canyon area, I can't help but to see the insanely long line emerging from Canyon Pizza. Then if you turn down the next road, there's another line of starving college students in line for College Pizza. This same scene also shows up at locations such as McDonald's, Taco Bell, and Are U Hungry.

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Hannah Finger's comment brought up the idea that maybe this is the real reason for the dreaded "Freshman 15" weight gain. When we are out late at night, we typically grab an extremely unhealthy "second dinner" before heading back to our dorms or apartments to fall asleep. Does this binge eating right before sleep actually hurt our bodies more than it would if we would have eaten this food earlier?

study was done at Northwestern University on a group of mice. The study separated the mice into two groups, where one group was given the food during the day time when they would typically be sleeping since mice are nocturnal and the other group was given the food during the night while they are typically awake. Both groups were fed the same amount of food with the same fat levels. This would simulate the human eating the same amount of calories during the day against the human who eats the same amount of calories but at night time before they rest. Both groups of mice were studied for a period of six weeks and also participated in the same amount of exercise in order to keep all third variable constant.

At the end of the study, the mice who ate during the time they would normally be sleeping actually showed a 48% increase in body weight while the control group of mice eating during normal hours experienced only a 20% increase in body weight. This shows that the body weight increase was actually more than doubled which is a significant amount.

If this study is to be trusted, then us college students would benefit off of skipping out on a slice of Canyon Pizza or a delicious Insomnia Cookie right before bed and instead eat a substitute during the daylight. But should we really listen to this study done on the mice?

The study seemed to be organized pretty well, keeping most factors constant so that the independent variable was the only thing being altered. In order to make this study more believable, it should be replicated to show similar findings. Also, they should use another animal other than mice because how do we know that mice have the same problems with weight gain from late night eating as other animals or humans?

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To avoid late night eating still seems like a sensible idea. Even if it won't cure obesity, it will leave some extra money in your pocket or Lion Cash on your ID card if you choose to ignore your cravings for McDonald's at 2 am and instead go right to sleep.



6 Comments

Hi Alicia! Ive always heard that eating before bed for you was bad, so its good to know that wasn't just a rumor! After reading your post, I looked up why eating late at night is bad for you. Its because when you eat at night, your body has all that energy from the food that its ready to burn. However, if your going to bed you don't need this energy, so besides the food thats used for normal body processes, the rest of your food is just stored in your body. As long as you stop eating at least 2 hours before bed, your body's natural metabolism can properly digest your food, so extra won't store up like it would if you ate right before bed.

Hi!
I really liked this article because, I do always see huge crowds of people at those places late at night (though not really at Subway...)
But could there be another factor, especially for the college students downtown, that plays a factor in the weight gain? For one, when I do go to these places, a large number of the inhabitants are drunk and are feeling very hungry. Another factor is that those who have been drinking, alcohol contains a lot of empty calories and so they are adding food on top of those calories they just drank.
In relation though, I have always wondered why after drinking so many people crave late night food?

This blog reminded me of the common "no eating after 7/8 P.M." diets that I've heard people swear by. Aside from the study you mentioned on mice, studies have actually been done using humans that near prove late-night eating (anytime after 8 p.m.) really is linked to weight gain.

One study published in the journal Obesity observed sleep timing's relationship to dietary patterns, and their results on body mass index (BMI). Although the scientists did find a correlation between the sleep timing portion of the experiment (based on wake-up time) and dietary patterns (it was found that people who slept later into the day were more likely to eat unhealthy foods throughout the day), they also discovered that those who ate after 8 p.m. were more liekly to have a higher BMI. The scientists of this study, however, failed to conclude why.

To me the answer seems obvious. Wouldn't eating before bed, at a time when the calorie intake would be followed by so little calorie burning, cause weight gain?

This blog reminded me of the common "no eating after 7/8 P.M." diets that I've heard people swear by. Aside from the study you mentioned on mice, studies have actually been done using humans that near prove late-night eating (anytime after 8 p.m.) really is linked to weight gain.

One study published in the journal Obesity observed sleep timing's relationship to dietary patterns, and their results on body mass index (BMI). Although the scientists did find a correlation between the sleep timing portion of the experiment (based on wake-up time) and dietary patterns (it was found that people who slept later into the day were more likely to eat unhealthy foods throughout the day), they also discovered that those who ate after 8 p.m. were more liekly to have a higher BMI. The scientists of this study, however, failed to conclude why.

To me the answer seems obvious. Wouldn't eating before bed, at a time when the calorie intake would be followed by so little calorie burning, cause weight gain?

As has been stated, this post reminds me of the no ''late night eating" diet. Essentially the diet says that people consume the most calories after they eat their midnight snack because they go right to bed afterward. All of this makes perfect sense, but in terms of the post, can we really attribute the "freshman 15" and other weight gains during college due to late night cravings? My guess would be that the students standing in line at McDonald's, Are U Hungry, etc. are far from sober. In my opinion, there's a third variable in all of this; alcohol.

As many people have suggested, the thanks should be shared with alcohol. A study conducted by Purdue University found that moderate consumption of alcohol enhances the taste of salt and fat, which is found in abundance at late night eateries.
Our Bodies can not store alcohol so they must metabolize it right away which causes other metabolic processes to suffer. Our bodies won't metabolize sugars and fats as efficiently while they are metabolizing alcohol. Heavy drink in can also cause your metabolism to slow down. So the empty alcohol calories mixed with the late night pizza are a perfect combination for weight gain.

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/weight-loss/how-alcohol-affects-metabolism.html#b

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