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Effect of a high-protein meal during a night shift on food perceptions and dietary intake the following day according to chronotype: a randomized crossover study


Nutritional strategies are needed to promote healthy food choices and thus avoid weight gain in night workers. These strategies should consider chronotype - a variable associated with food choices of different populations. However, this subject is little explored among shift workers.


The aim of this study was to compare the acute effect of a high-protein (HP) versus normal protein (NP) meal served at night on the food perceptions and consumption the following day in shift workers with different chronotype.


The study was conducted with 14 male nurses. After being followed-up for 7 days before each night intervention in relation to eating and sleeping habits, participants underwent two different isocaloric dietary conditions at 1:00 h of the night shift, with a 6-day washout period between them: high-protein meal containing 45% carbohydrate, 35% protein and 20% fat; and normal protein meal containing 65% carbohydrate, 15% protein and 20% fat. Participants consumed a standardized breakfast with high carbohydrate content. After that, they answered a food register including food perception data of all food consumed at the moment and the following day of each condition. Chronotype was calculated using the time of midsleep time adjusted for sleep debt. Generalized estimating equations analyses were used to examine the effect of each meal test on food perception and consumption of energy and macronutrients.


Evening types enjoyed NP meal more than HP meal (9.37 versus 7.75, respectively; p=0.025), and more than morning chronotype (9.37 versus 6.77, respectively; p=0.004). For evening types, satiety was better after NP meal compared to HP meal (8.50 versus 6.75, respectively; p=0.032). For standardized breakfast, evening types enjoyed more the meal served after HP meal compared NP meal intervention (8.25 versus 7.25, respectively; p=0.009). Evening types presented a higher percentage of fat consumption after HP meal than after NP meal (32.4% versus 18.5%, respectively; p<0.001).


Different meal composition consumed at night influences the food consumption and perception the following day in shift workers of different chronotypes.

This study was supported by FAPEMIG and CNPq.


Food perceptions, chronotype, shift work, food intake.


Área Clínica


Universidade Federal de Uberlândia - Minas Gerais - Brasil


Gabriela Pereira Teixeira, Catarina Mendes Silva, Nayara Bernardes Cunha, Maria Carliana Mota, Kely Raspante Teixeira, Cibele Aparecida Crispim