Review

Scand J Work Environ Health 2019;45(1):7-21    pdf full text

doi:10.5271/sjweh.3759

The effect of shift work on eating habits: a systematic review

by Souza RV, Sarmento RA, de Almeida JC, Canuto R

Objective This systematic review aimed to evaluate the association between shift work and eating habits.

Methods The protocol was registered in PROSPERO (number 42015024680). PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, and Web of Science were searched for published reports. Of 2432 identified articles, 33 observational studies met the inclusion criteria. Their methodological approaches were assessed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Data were extracted using a standardized form. Studies were considered to have a low or a high risk of bias according to a percentage score of quality.

Results The majority of the studies presented a quality score of <70% and a high risk of bias for comparability, sample selection and non-respondents. Shift workers show changes in meal patterns, skipping more meals and consuming more food at unconventional times. They also show higher consumption of unhealthy foods, such as saturated fats and soft drinks.

Conclusions This review suggests that shift work can affect the quality of workers’ diets, but new studies, especially longitudinal studies, which examine the time of exposure to shift work, the duration of the workday and sleep patterns, are necessary to confirm this association.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 1994;20(6):401-406  2016;42(6):459-468
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