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Blue Light May Make You Fat

Update Date: Jun 02, 2014 09:14 PM EDT

Stay away from blue light if you're on a diet. New research reveals that exposure to blue light may increase hunger.

The latest study linked blue-enriched light exposure to an increase in hunger that began 15 minutes after light onset and was still present almost two hours after dinner. The study also revealed that, compared to dim light exposure, blue light also reduced sleepiness and lead to higher levels of insulin resistance.

The latest study involved 10 healthy adults with regular sleep and eating schedules who received meal meals. Participants were asked to complete a four-day protocol under dim light conditions. During the protocol, participants were exposed to less than 20 lux during 16 hours awake and less than 3 lux during eight hours of sleep.

However, participants were exposed to three hours of 260 lux, blue-enriched light starting 10.5 hours after waking up on the third day of the study.

Researchers then compared and the effects of the blue light exposure to those of the dim light exposure.

"It was very interesting to observe that a single three-hour exposure to blue-enriched light in the evening acutely impacted hunger and glucose metabolism," study co-author Ivy Cheung, a doctoral candidate in the Interdepartmental Neuroscience program at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois said in a news release. "These results are important because they suggest that manipulating environmental light exposure for humans may represent a novel approach of influencing food intake patterns and metabolism."

The latest study, which was published in the journal Sleep, will be presented Tuesday, June 3, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at SLEEP 2014, the 28th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.

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