Was Daylight Saving Keeping Us Slim?

Is it possible morning light makes us slimmer? An American study says so.

Bondi sunrise. Image courtesy of Aquabumps.

A US study conducted at Northwester University in Washington has found that people are more likely to be slimmer when exposed to more sunlight in the morning. The study found that of the fifty-four test subjects, the leanest people did not necessarily eat better or exercise more, but they were simply exposed to bright light earlier in the day.

The participants, who also logged their light exposure sleep cycles and food intake for a week, wore wrist monitors to verify their recorded sunlight exposure. And sure enough, regardless of exercise level, sleep timing, age or calorie intake, morning light was found to have an influence on body mass.

Phyllis Zee, a senior author of the study, explains that light synchronises your internal body clock, which then regulates your energy balance. In a less scientific opinion, Carly Taylor of Newstead says that it’s easier to get out of bed if it’s “nice and sunny”.

Pro-daylight savers and those against it have long been divided by the major belief that extra sun in the afternoon has the same effect on the body as it does in the morning. Those in favour of daylight saving further posit that extra sun in the afternoon allows people to be more active after work, whilst those against it argue that taking advantage of bright, early mornings is better for your health.

Daylight saving was implemented during the First World War to save energy, so the argument that it’s outdated and no longer necessary is somewhat valid. According to the American College of Cardiology, every year sees a spike in heart attacks the day following the time change. Lead author of that study, Amneet Sandhu, plans to compare the numbers to states without daylight saving next year.

Aside from the dubious claim made by the anti-daylight-savers that they save money replacing faded curtains, there are valid arguments on both sides.


Do you like daylight saving?

By BB Intern Yael Brender


Yael Brender

I am a freelance writer, dreamer and booklover. I write, rewrite, bang head against keyboard. Edit, re-edit, bang head against keyboard. I write for Bondi Beauty, Eat Drink Play, Warhol's Children and ZOS Magazine. Coffee is just as important as breathing, plus it makes me type faster! We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.

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