Do Shift Workers have More Type 2 Diabetes?

Health care workers should be good role models for our patients.  However, many of them work crazy hours, are short on sleep, and do not have proper time to prepare “healthy meals”. Is there something unique about working different shifts, or is it just the changes in sleep, exercise and eating that may cause shift workers to gain weight and increase their risk for Diabetes Type 2? About 20% of American workers do shift work making this a significant health problem.  Many hospitals close down the cafeteria in the evening, making it more difficult for the workers to get appropriate nutritious food.  Each worker should realize their eating and sleeping patterns may be deleterious to their health and make an effort to bring in healthy foods to sustain them while on shift.  They and their families should consider their need for sleep and exercise when they plan their daily schedules.  Does anybody do shift work and do you have any suggestions how their employers and family may support them?

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