Rotating night shift work and nutrition of nurses and midwives.

Research paper by Beata B Peplonska, Pawel P Kaluzny, Elzbieta E Trafalska

Indexed on: 09 Oct '19Published on: 07 May '19Published in: Chronobiology international


Previous research points to some inappropriate nutritional habits among nurses working night shifts. However, the knowledge of specific nutritional components of their diet has been limited. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the association between rotating night shifts of nurses and midwives and their usual dietary intake of energy and nutrients. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 522 Polish nurses and midwives: 251 working rotating night shifts (i.e. working night shift followed by a day off on a subsequent day) and 271 day workers. Polish adaptation of the Food Frequency Questionnaire, regarding 151 food items, was used to assess the usual dietary energy and nutrient intake. Data on occupational history and potential confounders were collected via face-to-face interviews. Body weight, height, waist and hip circumference were measured. Linear regression models: univariate (crude) and multivariate (adjusted) were run, with the nutrient intake as dependent variables, night work characteristics, and important confounders. Among nurses and midwives working rotating night shifts, a significantly higher adjusted mean intake was found for the total energy (2005 kcal vs 1850 kcal) and total fatty acids (77.9 g vs 70.4 g) when compared to day workers, as well as for cholesterol (277 mg vs 258 mg), carbohydrates (266 g vs 244 g) and sucrose (55.8 g vs 48.6 g). Night shift work duration was inversely related to the consumption of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin C and % energy from proteins. The higher energy consumption may contribute to increase risk of overweight and obesity among nurses working night shifts.