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Nurse shifts linked to abnormal eating habits

  • 19 Comments

Shift duties are linked with abnormal eating habits among nurses working in hospitals, according to Hong Kong researchers.

The researchers surveyed 378 nurses, of which three quarters did regular shifts outside of traditional working hours.

Writing in the International Journal of Nursing, the researchers concluded: “More health promotional initiatives should be targeted towards hospital nurses whose duties require frequent night shifts to enhance healthy eating.”

  • 19 Comments

Readers' comments (19)

  • Margery Mary Hawkins

    I could have told them that in 1956-1959 when I was training :-))))

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  • Another example of the blindingly obvious even with such a small unscientific and unrepresentative number of nurses.

    We used to have a 'night chef' when I was a student in the late sixties. Paddies' Apple pies were famous. We were all well fed with wholesome hot food, (provided free to staff whilst on duty). Sadly he was replaced with a vending machine when 'pay as you eat' was introduced.

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  • There no need to target health promotion at nurses. Improving working lives for staff should be part of all organisation. Staff been well look after in them days were reasons people flocked into nursing. Employers do not care if you eat this days look at the meager salary not to talk of eating well when you hadly get breaks or proper staff room. Politics should be part of nursing curriculum if i have my way.

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  • My concern is that if the grammer of the person above is any marker of the quality of the profession, we are all in trouble!!

    Howver I do agre it is imperative all nurses all politically astute and active. Only then will we make life better for ourselves.

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  • I got to 9 and a half stone from 11 stones when i did 12 hour shifts on a busy admissions ward! I then lost my appetite when I was able to eat, thought this weight must be good and with encouragement from others proceeded to try to lose more. Don't work there anymore luckily!

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  • Hello!!! How many Nurses like me, have gotten to around 03:00 and felt nauseous or thrown up, simply because your body clock has gone awol. It may be a part of the job, but does that make it right? No, healthy feeding of staff is a priority if Trust's want to maintain staff retention!

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  • Thank you NHS! I've been battling with my weight problem for years but since starting my training in September 2008, I've dropped from a size 24 to a size 18, and counting! I can barely afford to eat on my pittance of a bursary, once I've paid out half of it on rent and the other half on travel... and then, fitting meals in round shift working, when breakfast is at 5.30am, lunch at 10.30am, and evening meal not until 7pm... or worse, on a late, only 2 meals in a day... the second of which is generally a bottle of Lucozade and a Mars bar...

    In fact, I'm thinking of asking Lucozade to sponsor the rest of my training, as I'm drinking so much of it just to keep going...

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  • In the 12 yrs I have been in nursing my weight has risen by 6 stone (diagnosed hypothyroid 1993).
    I get a half hour unpaid break (if I am lucky) on a 8 and half hour shift (plus 2 and half hours travel) my lunch is generally a sandwich/yogurt/fruit
    I have cereal/porridge and slice of toast for breakfast at 6am lunch at 1pm and dinner (cooked meal) at 7-7.30 when I get in, don't snack on sweets at work and rarely at home, yet I know somewhere I am consuming too many calories.
    I try to eat healthy foods but sadly by evening I am so hungry I tend to eat larger than normal portions and am so mentally and physically tired I have to force myself to do any exercise, I am still mordidly obese and have struggled for yesrs to just stop weight going on never mind get it off and have now decided the only way forward is surgery to reduce my ability to eat large portions.
    I think workplace stress plays a big part in how we choose our food and how our body metabolises it.
    Guess probably best answer is a different occupation!

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  • Qualified summer 2009, first job Sept 2009 at 9stone. Weight now 8st. 7lbs and still dropping. Stress, lack of time and appetite I feel are responsible. The bizarre mix of day/night shift patterns and day shifts that should be 12hours often end up being 15! Eating at 10 o'clock at night after shift, then going to bed to be back up at 0600 cannot be good for anyone, and seemingly not me. Not sure how long my body is going to take this.

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  • This comment is brilliant. If you're going to criticise people's grammar at least check your spelling!:

    My concern is that if the grammer of the person above is any marker of the quality of the profession, we are all in trouble!!

    Howver I do agre it is imperative all nurses all politically astute and active. Only then will we make life better for ourselves.

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