The large increase of epidemiological studies on night shift work is due to the important effects on workers’ health and psychophysical wellbeing. The short-term effects are easily studied and they are: insomnia, difficulties in managing work and private life, lower work performance, more work and extra-work accidents. The long-term effects, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer, are difficult to study, because of the need for detailed exposure assessment and the long latency periods of these diseases.Method
A review of literature on pubmed from 2000 to 2017on diet and health effects in night shift workers was conduct to collect epidemiologic evidence of diseases in night shift workers, describing their biological pathways and a set of dietary guidelines.Results
Significant Rate Ratio and Hazard Ratio increases of different diseases associated to modified eating behaviour and poor eating habits among night shift workers are reported. The night shift work is a risk factor for disruption of the circadian rhythms and for some genetic deregulation, because it produces the inversion of the sleep/wake cycle and modifies the alternation between activity and rest.Discussion
Healthy diet and improved dietary practices can reduce shift-workers’ chronic disease risk. In literature was shown the importance of eating behaviour in order to prevent diseases in these workers, therefore educational programs are necessary to encourage several important lifestyle changes. Interventions to reduce chronic disease risk among shift workers should incorporate several important lifestyle changes (i.e.: healthy diet, improved dietary practices, decreased drug and alcohol use, physical activity, proper sleep and light exposure). The reported findings suggest a possible role of education programs on eating behaviour as preventive strategies in this group of workers. Actually is missing a deep knowledge of the relationship between specific dietary compositions (i.e. Mediterranean diet) and the prevention programs of diseases among shift workers.