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Study: Exposure To Morning Sunlight Helps Managing Weight

samzenpus posted about 4 months ago | from the here-somes-the-sun-there-goes-the-pounds dept.

Science 137

jones_supa (887896) writes "A new Northwestern Medicine study reports the timing, intensity and duration of your light exposure during the day is linked to your weight — the first time this has been shown. People who had most of their daily exposure to even moderately bright light in the morning had a significantly lower body mass index (BMI) than those who had most of their light exposure later in the day, the study found. It accounted for about 20 percent of a person's BMI and was independent of an individual's physical activity level, caloric intake, sleep timing, age or season. About 20 to 30 minutes of morning light is enough to affect BMI. The senior author Phyllis C. Zee rationalizes this by saying that light is the most potent agent to synchronize your internal body clock that regulates circadian rhythms, which in turn also regulate energy balance. The study was small and short. It included 54 participants (26 males, 28 females), an average age of 30. They wore a wrist actigraphy monitor that measured their light exposure and sleep parameters for seven days in normal-living conditions. Their caloric intake was determined from seven days of food logs. The study was published April 2 in the journal PLOS ONE. Giovanni Santostasi, a research fellow in neurology at Feinberg, is a co-lead author."

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Vitamin D (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46657189)

Is this caused by Vitamin D perhaps? It would be interesting to compare to people on supplements.

Here in Edmonton, Canada, my family Dr. was participating in a study where her patients were tested to Vitamin D. I ended up having to take 2000 IU a day. Not that I don't get outside; during about six months of the year you won't see any daylight from 5 pm to 9 am.

Re:Vitamin D (1, Insightful)

mjwx (966435) | about 4 months ago | (#46657617)

Is this caused by Vitamin D perhaps? It would be interesting to compare to people on supplements.

Here in Edmonton, Canada, my family Dr. was participating in a study where her patients were tested to Vitamin D. I ended up having to take 2000 IU a day. Not that I don't get outside; during about six months of the year you won't see any daylight from 5 pm to 9 am.

I highly doubt it, even if it were because of Vitamin D, people on placebos, erm sorry, supplements wouldn't get the same effect.

However I think the cause it more due to the notion that if people are outside... they're moving instead of sitting down so they're burning more calories.

Re:Vitamin D (1)

icebike (68054) | about 4 months ago | (#46657825)

There is no effect of Vitamin D, via supplement or via Direct Sunlight [soylentnews.org] .
Vitamin D3 seems to decrease mortality (of all causes) by 11%.

But I agree that this present study seems to be confusing cause and effect. If you are outside early and running around in the sunshine chances are its not the light of morning that has the effect, its merely the fact that you are more active.

Re:Vitamin D (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46657853)

If you are outside early and running around in the sunshine chances are its not the light of morning that has the effect, its merely the fact that you are more active.

Just my personal opinion but I am slim and lean so make of it what you will.

If you're American then this is very difficult to understand because corporations make more money this way. If you eat like a lard-ass and avoid this kind of activity like a lard-ass and you sleep like a lard-ass and you stress out like a lard-ass ... then shockingly you will be a lard-ass.

Yeah... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 4 months ago | (#46658445)

Call me cynical, but I'm just suspicious that people who get up and run around in the morning have a lower BMI because they get up and run around in the morning. The whole sunlight thing, that's just a coincidental (mis)feature of morning. By which I'm sure you can intuit my BMI range. :)

I have often remarked to my SO that the primary fault with mornings is that they don't wait until at least noon to begin.

Re:Yeah... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 4 months ago | (#46658947)

I have a similar opinion about breakfasts - they're generally available at the wrong end of the day.

Re:Vitamin D (2)

darkonc (47285) | about 4 months ago | (#46659239)

Well, supposedly, the study took levels of exercise into account -- and driving to work in the morning would account for 30 minutes of sunlight exposure, without any real exercise.

maybe you're both wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46658357)

It could be the circadian cycle is linked to weight.

Re:Vitamin D (2)

erroneus (253617) | about 4 months ago | (#46659373)

In order to wake up to sun light, a variety of factors must coincide, but chief among them is sleeping a little later instead of waking up at 5am to get ready for work and sitting in traffic for a long time just so you can sit in an office with unhealthy lighting by sunrise.

Exactly!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46659561)

That pretty much sums up an office workers routine. Right now I'm at work its 7:30 AM and the sun is not up yet, they should re-do this experiment
somewhere in Canada.

correlation does not prove causation (5, Interesting)

Todd Palin (1402501) | about 4 months ago | (#46657203)

Could it be that the fat people are just lazy and get up later, and don't get outside early. Maybe fat causes people to get less light in the AM. See the problem with the headline?

Re:correlation does not prove causation (4, Insightful)

Travis Mansbridge (830557) | about 4 months ago | (#46657221)

True, but the summary does say "..independent of an individual's physical activity level, caloric intake, sleep timing, age or season."

In any case causation is not proven, and this is a pretty small sample anyway.

Re:correlation does not prove causation (1)

JMJimmy (2036122) | about 4 months ago | (#46657431)

There's no current measurement of a person's metabolic rate. I sleep later, eat more, and am older than my partner but my metabolic rate is higher due to previous lifestyle so I have a lower BMI. Anecdotal but it shows the flaw in the study. To show something like this you'd have to look at a larger but focused sample over a very long time.

Re:correlation does not prove causation (5, Insightful)

nbauman (624611) | about 4 months ago | (#46657909)

If they really wanted to find out whether sunlight affected weight, they would have done a randomized, controlled trial.

They would have randomly assigned half the people to getting exposed to sunlight early, and the other half to getting exposed to sunlight late.

Instead, they let the subjects go their merry way and simply measured their exposure to sunlight during the day.

These kind of studies give spurious results. For example, suppose the ones who are exposed to sunlight in the morning are getting up early to start their day jogging.

Re:correlation does not prove causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46657979)

My initial thoughts too, but the article does mention that the findings were independent of physical activity.

Re:correlation does not prove causation (5, Insightful)

clovis (4684) | about 4 months ago | (#46658071)

If they really wanted to find out whether sunlight affected weight, they would have done a randomized, controlled trial.

They would have randomly assigned half the people to getting exposed to sunlight early, and the other half to getting exposed to sunlight late.

Instead, they let the subjects go their merry way and simply measured their exposure to sunlight during the day.

These kind of studies give spurious results. For example, suppose the ones who are exposed to sunlight in the morning are getting up early to start their day jogging.

Well, no.
You don't begin a line of inquiry with a randomized, controlled trial. You begin with a study to see if there may be a correlation.
Why? If there's no correlation in a study, then there's no reason to spend the (much greater) money on a randomized trial.
If there does appear to be a correlation, you report it so that you (and others) may pursue the inquiry further.

Re:correlation does not prove causation (2)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 4 months ago | (#46658613)

Pfft... rational thought and reason. This is /., where everyone who mis-interprets a statistical axiom is smarter than people who do this for a living. How else can they be self-righteous?

Re:correlation does not prove causation (1)

wienerschnizzel (1409447) | about 4 months ago | (#46658861)

You are wrong in this case. If they just wanted to determine the correlation, they shouldn't have put the following statement in their abstract:

Exposure to moderate levels of light at biologically appropriate times can influence weight, independent of sleep timing and duration.

That's way beyond saying 'there's a correlation'

Re:correlation does not prove causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46658923)

"can influence" should be translated to "we want to study this"

Re:correlation does not prove causation (1)

wienerschnizzel (1409447) | about 4 months ago | (#46659023)

No. If they measured correlation between exposure to light and *reduction* of BMI, I wouldn't mind, but as it is, interpreting that statement that way is some snake oil salesman level of dishonesty (why not say "Weight can influence the amount of exposure to the sunlight people get"?).

Re:correlation does not prove causation (2)

Redmancometh (2676319) | about 4 months ago | (#46658549)

With 54 people I don't think I would believe them when they said they controlled for ANYTHING.

Re:correlation does not prove causation (5, Funny)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 4 months ago | (#46657249)

You're not reading this right. The solution is to get up later, when the sun is up, so that you are immediately exposed to sunlight early in the day.

Re:correlation does not prove causation (4, Funny)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 4 months ago | (#46657551)

I have a skylight in my bedroom. I'm going to start opening the blind on it in the morning and go back to sleep for an hour or two. And eat cake and ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That should drop my BMI by 20% according to the summary.

Re:correlation does not prove causation (0)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 4 months ago | (#46658753)

What did that poor straw man ever do to you?

Re:correlation does not prove causation (1)

TWX (665546) | about 4 months ago | (#46657369)

Could it be that the fat people are just lazy and get up later, and don't get outside early. Maybe fat causes people to get less light in the AM. See the problem with the headline?

I find it more likely that these people work outside during that part of the day and probably for much of their day, and since most jobs that work outdoors are more labor-intensive than most jobs indoors, that physical activity from the time one starts one's day may have more of an effect.

The only way that this can really be studied is to measure a lot of other factors in order to figure out how to normalize them against each other, including actual amounts of exercise, actual food intake, and probably a lot of other factors that I'm not even considering. This study is interesting enough to prompt a bigger study, but this will definitely require more individuals to make it work.

Re:correlation does not prove causation (2)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 4 months ago | (#46657469)

I find it more likely that these people work outside during that part of the day ...

Perhaps. There could be any number of explanations. The important thing to note is that this is an observational study. They just collected data on people, they didn't randomly assign people to get up early. Morning people and night owls differ in many ways. Their conclusion that "morning light" is the reason seems pretty far fetched. It is far more likely that the cause is late night tv with a big bowl of potato chips.

Re:correlation does not prove causation (0)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 4 months ago | (#46657463)

-1, self-righteous jackass

Could it be that people that squawk "correlation does not prove causation" without knowing what that means are just lazy and don't bother to find out what the study actually does and does not cover?

Re:correlation does not prove causation insulting (2)

dltaylor (7510) | about 4 months ago | (#46657483)

Maybe it is evening/night people having their natural sleep schedules disrupted in our industrialized society that contributes to a higher BMI.

AFAIK, morning sun has essentially the same spectrum as evening sun (slightly red due to the longer path through the atmosphere than at noon), and the same angle of incidence, so morning sun should have no different intrinsic effect than evening sun, if the rest of the day is spent in artificial light.

Sounds like a VERY poorly controlled experiment.

Re:correlation does not prove causation (2)

Macgrrl (762836) | about 4 months ago | (#46657599)

I'm fat and I get up at 6:00 and am generally at work before the sun comes up. It must be because I'm lazy, and not because I commute and work stupid hours.

Re:correlation does not prove causation (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 4 months ago | (#46657611)

...says the guy too lazy to read the summary.

Lack of correlation is even worse (2)

Dan East (318230) | about 4 months ago | (#46657787)

The other problem is lack of correlation for this hypothesis. There are large numbers of people whose work shifts that have them awakening at night to work during the night. If this study's conclusion is correct then the vast majority of these people should have a very high BMI, and the effects of working such shifts would have been noticed decades ago.

Then there are people at the high latitudes who have months of very reduced sunlight, and thus wake up in the dark for weeks on end. Again, do we see the same correlation there? This type of thing should be easy to study in places like the Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station, where those that stay over winter experience little sunlight for a few months non-stop.

Re:correlation does not prove causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46658085)

Could it be that stupid people are also lazy and respond without reading the actual study?

Re:correlation does not prove causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46658115)

Could it be you're a fucktard who couldn't read past the headline to get to the bit that answers your Jesus-H-Christ-boy-you're-as-dumb-as-pig-shit question?

PLOS one GOOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46657245)

No dynamite plots, instead we can see the individual data points.

worth more research (3, Insightful)

globaljustin (574257) | about 4 months ago | (#46657259)

as the summary points out, it was only for 7 days with 54 people who used wrist mounted light sensors & 'food logs' but it's definitely worth a look

sunlight in the morning has all kinds of physiological benefits...IIRC recently it was linked to higher immune function

Re:worth more research (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46657665)

it's also linked to vitamin deficiency, which is from lack of sunlight exposure...

I going with that one, the other goofy studies should be linking the above statement/research into these ones and it will probably lead to the above statement as the leading cause.

Sunlight has huge =psychological= effects as well... But you'll find people that are just as happy and healthy who are 'night owls'.

Re:worth more research (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46659119)

sunlight in the morning has all kinds of physiological benefits...IIRC recently it was linked to higher immune function

]
As usual with modern science, none of the important information (like something that can be applied to everyday life) is ever investigated, or if it is, it is limited to those who are the average. Ok, what about the rest of humans? Humans are very diverse, especially when it comes to metabolism. Gross generalizations based on how the average person responds on average, averagely, is utterly useless to everyone who isn't average, which is like half of us at least.
I, for example, have an amazing immune system. I never get sick unless I get exposed to some really major attack vector (e.g. homeless person sneezed on me last month, and I was sniffly and had 99.5 fever for about 18 hrs), and then my body fights it off before I actually get 'sick'. I recently accidentally burned myself really bad on both my hands. The first degree burns healed almost completely within 4-5 days. The 2nd degree burns grew blisters about 20mm in spherical size on 2 of my fingertips. It completely healed within 19 days. In fact, unless you look really really closely (I mean microscope close), my fingerprint looks the same, healed completely up. Here's the best part, other than ice for the first 8 hours (it was extremely painful btw), I didn't really even have to treat it. My body just healed itself. I didn't even cover the wounds, I just made sure to keep it clean and not touch stuff. I find that my creativity, energy, and muscle fitness is best when I utilized a 36 hour day. That's right, my body clock seems to be 36 hours, not 24. I rarely get sun, and when I do, it's usually shortly before sleeping. Where's the science for me?

Statistically Insignificant (2, Informative)

Ghoulapool (3603547) | about 4 months ago | (#46657267)

"[The study] included 54 participants (26 males, 28 females)". No conclusions should be drawn from a study this small. Interesting as it may be to speculate.

Re:Statistically Insignificant (1, Insightful)

rgbatduke (1231380) | about 4 months ago | (#46657637)

For seven days. Either dredging the data from something else or (worse) looking for the effect!. Which is claimed to be 20% of BMI. I can refute this trivially within my own household. This is arrant nonsense. For me dropping 20% of BMI means losing 40 pounds, and gee, I'll bet nobody in their study dropped 40 pounds in seven days. So precisely how could the establish the correlation? By enrolling a handful of thin early risers and fat late sleepers and watching them for seven days and concluding that the relevant controlling variable was the brightness of the light they were exposed to when they got up?

Sometimes one doesn't even have to RTFA to sneeze out a "bullshit" and move on.

rgb

Re:Statistically Insignificant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46658121)

The study did not claim the effect accounted for 20% of BMI.
It said the effect accounted for 20% of the variance in BMI among the people in the study.

Re:Statistically Insignificant (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 4 months ago | (#46659293)

I'll bet nobody in their study dropped 40 pounds in seven days. So precisely how could the establish the correlation?

Perhaps they were really full of shit?

Re:Statistically Insignificant (1)

BetterThanCaesar (625636) | about 4 months ago | (#46659639)

I can refute this trivially within my own household.

Haha! Good one :-D Refuting a small-sample study with an anecdote, classic!

Re:Statistically Insignificant (1)

rgbatduke (1231380) | about 4 months ago | (#46659691)

My pleasure:-)

Re:Statistically Insignificant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46657737)

Amen to that. Such studies have too few participants so often it has become laughable. Medical science, would be more scientific if it quit doing studies with too few people, and manned up with sizable enough groups to learn something. They also need to stick to 3 sigma results. Two sigma results (with enough people) is way better than a witch doctor. But they are only hurting themselves now not going to 3 sigma and requiring larger studies. Journals shouldn't except things like this at all if their aren't enough participants to be statistically solid.

Re:Statistically Insignificant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46657839)

Agreed, I have had light sensitivity for about 10 years due to a car wreck, due to this I avoid bright light etc and I have not gained any type of additional weight due to this.

There are a lot more factors to take into account, this study IMO is a bunch of hot air.

Re:Statistically Insignificant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46658123)

Agreed, I have had light sensitivity for about 10 years due to a car wreck, due to this I avoid bright light etc and I have not gained any type of additional weight due to this.

There are a lot more factors to take into account, this study IMO is a bunch of hot air.

Could you please elaborate on this please? In simple terms a layman like me could understand - how does a car wreck cause light sensitivity?

Genuinely curious. I mean no disrespect whatsoever towards you or your condition.

Re:Statistically Insignificant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46658759)

I had a major head injury in the wreck which introduced new issues into my daily life such as light sensitivity, vestibular and memory problems.

Re:Statistically Insignificant (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | about 4 months ago | (#46658765)

What are you basing your judgment on? Please show your work.

Re:Statistically Insignificant (1)

u38cg (607297) | about 4 months ago | (#46659291)

Hi, care to present the calculations you did to establish statistical power? No? The please stop talking about statistics as if you understand the subject as opposed to parroting pop-stats bullshit.

Yea Right... (2)

laitcg (729768) | about 4 months ago | (#46657359)

... Look at the overweight+ people in Hawaii. And we live in the sun virtually year round!

Re:Yea Right... (2)

ScentCone (795499) | about 4 months ago | (#46657491)

... Look at the overweight+ people in Hawaii. And we live in the sun virtually year round!

If we can take their small sample and methodology as meaningful, and presume that you mean that Hawaiians all get up early and go right into the sun... then the point is that whatever lifestyle things make a lot of Hawaiians fat would be even worse if they all rolled out of the cot in their mom's basement and stayed there until lunchtime.

Re:Yea Right... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46657565)

It's easier to go right into the sun if you get up late than if you get up early.

Unless you get up so late that it's night, in which case you have different problems to worry about.

Re:Yea Right... (1)

laitcg (729768) | about 4 months ago | (#46657593)

Actually, TMK, most of us get up around sunrise and go outdoors. Maybe to spend the day at the beach (if they are not working). For sure the children do and to look at most of them.... something else is going on. Diet? I really think the small sample of the test was not enough to make judgment or rather a scientific proof/theory be valid.

Sample too Small (1)

us7892 (655683) | about 4 months ago | (#46657375)

Seems like the sample size is too small. Or the wrong sample. I'd like to hear more, but there is not much here.

Benjamin Franklin (1)

Ben C. (2950903) | about 4 months ago | (#46657377)

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

Re:Benjamin Franklin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46657605)

Wasn't he quite overweight?

Re:Benjamin Franklin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46658589)

Back then, overweight was healthy.

Re:Benjamin Franklin (5, Interesting)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 4 months ago | (#46657631)

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

I don't know about healthy. But late to bed, late to rise, seems to make you more intelligent and wealthier [medicaldaily.com] That study looked at 1000 people, rather than 54. If both studies are accurate, it looks like you can be smart, fat, and rich, or healthy, poor and stupid.

James Thurber (2)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 4 months ago | (#46657645)

Early to rise and early to bed makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead.

Re:Benjamin Franklin (1)

Marginal Coward (3557951) | about 4 months ago | (#46657887)

The early bird catches the worm. The early worm gets eaten.

Re:Benjamin Franklin (4, Funny)

causality (777677) | about 4 months ago | (#46658135)

The early bird catches the worm. The early worm gets eaten.

The second mouse gets the cheese.

Re:Benjamin Franklin (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 4 months ago | (#46658593)

Early to rise, early to bed, makes a man healthy, but socially dead.

Morphine (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 4 months ago | (#46659149)

Early to bed and early to rise
Makes a man or woman
Miss out on the nightlife

RIP Mark Sandman.

Re:Benjamin Franklin (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 4 months ago | (#46659311)

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

The early bird catches the worm. Thus we worms nap as cats and gain their protection. Being early to rise is for the birds we're against.

Makes Sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46657387)

This is also the treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Correlation != Causation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46657439)

Correlation does not means causation. Remember this.

depression (2)

BradMajors (995624) | about 4 months ago | (#46657493)

Depression is correlated with sunlight exposure. Depression is correlated with weight gain.

Re:depression (1)

xelah (176252) | about 4 months ago | (#46659423)

Poor sleep, too, IIRC. This is why I'm sitting in front of a 125W compact fluorescent bulb right now. The sort of thing people use for growing, err, orchids. Not sure that'd work if I didn't work from home...but maybe if I didn't work from home I'd be outside long enough each morning not to need it.

Get it outta the way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46657563)

Correlation does not prove causation.
Fat people are lazy.
Lazy people are fat.
Younger people are generally skinnier and sleep in. So this doesn't make sense.
Too small sample size.
Drinkers consume extra calories and sleep off hangovers.

I didn't RTFA or TFS.

Re:Get it outta the way... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 4 months ago | (#46657863)

Younger people are generally skinnier

Not really. Childhood obesity is an epidemic in the USA.

and sleep in.

Yep. And with all the butthurt over moving high school starting times back, we'll have some good data.

Poor Richard (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 months ago | (#46657569)

"Early to bed and early to rise make a man healthy, wealthy and wise".

http://books.google.com/books?... [google.com]

Morning sunlight (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 4 months ago | (#46657587)

Yes I do get to see the sun rise at this time of the year, as I walk home from work.
(I work Nights you insensitive clods)

54 participants? Seven days? (1)

rgbatduke (1231380) | about 4 months ago | (#46657591)

That is, "We did a tiny study for a ridiculously short amount of time without anything like controls or double blindedness and found that exposure to morning light accounts for reductions of 20% of BMI at a statistically significant level.

This could be true only if the lights one turned on when getting up "early" were frickin' laser beams attached to sharks that lopped of a major limb and ate it.

April Fool's day was Tuesday. Why post this now?

rgb

Morning sunlight? (2)

Chas (5144) | about 4 months ago | (#46657683)

Eww. I don't like that stuff! I have blackout curtains on my bedroom windows to keep it from finding me.

*Looks down at ginormo-gut*

Hmm.

NAH! I like sleeping late!

Re:Morning sunlight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46658147)

Just my opinion here. Eat like a lard-ass, avoid lots of exercise like a lard-ass, stress out like a lard-ass, love food too much to fill other voids in your life like a lard-ass. Wow, turns out these things make you a lard-ass. Whodathunkit?

Yeah must be quality of sunlight or McDonalds or something like that. Anything absolutely anything other than the cumulative sum total of your bad decision making. Yup it just can't be that.

Re:Morning sunlight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46658169)

Just my opinion here. Eat like a lard-ass, avoid lots of exercise like a lard-ass, stress out like a lard-ass, love food too much to fill other voids in your life like a lard-ass. Wow, turns out these things make you a lard-ass. Whodathunkit? Yeah must be quality of sunlight or McDonalds or something like that. Anything absolutely anything other than the cumulative sum total of your bad decision making. Yup it just can't be that.

Yeah because if you suggested it was that then someone's feelings might get hurt and they might reflect on their past series of decisions and feel bad. That's my scientific proof that choices one makes have no connection to obesity whatsoever. If you disagree with it someone might feel offended and that would make you insensitive and lots of other bad things so you must be wrong. Obviously.

So you see there is only one right way to think of this. Sure people keep getting fatter so this way must be wrong. But it is the one true way.

Re:Morning sunlight? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46658197)

Just my opinion here. Eat like a lard-ass, avoid lots of exercise like a lard-ass, stress out like a lard-ass, love food too much to fill other voids in your life like a lard-ass. Wow, turns out these things make you a lard-ass. Whodathunkit? Yeah must be quality of sunlight or McDonalds or something like that. Anything absolutely anything other than the cumulative sum total of your bad decision making. Yup it just can't be that.

Yeah because if you suggested it was that then someone's feelings might get hurt and they might reflect on their past series of decisions and feel bad. That's my scientific proof that choices one makes have no connection to obesity whatsoever. If you disagree with it someone might feel offended and that would make you insensitive and lots of other bad things so you must be wrong. Obviously. So you see there is only one right way to think of this. Sure people keep getting fatter so this way must be wrong. But it is the one true way.

That way everyone's a winner. No matter what.

Stupid study (1)

Snotnose (212196) | about 4 months ago | (#46657703)

From the Federal Bureau of Get Your Ass Out Of Bed and Into Some Running Shoes. Snark aside, I prefer to get to work early, be home by 4, and do my 45 minute bike ride then. Although I did enjoy the few years I could bike to work.

Exposed how? (2)

pspahn (1175617) | about 4 months ago | (#46657883)

Is exposure just a general "bathing" in sunlight? Is exposure light entering one's eyes and providing stimulation?

Does this have anything to do with the fact that I have always had a very high metabolism yet my sleep patterns rarely follow a daily/hourly routine. I do not wake/go to bed at the same time every day. I am generally awake for 18 hours, then sleep for 8, so I sort of have a 26 hour day, which, of course, causes a number of other problems, but hey, it is what it is.

26 hour day? (1)

mmell (832646) | about 4 months ago | (#46658617)

So you're Bajoran?

Breaking news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46658091)

Weight gained_in_pounds = (Calories eaten - Calories burned) / 3555.

Examples:
If you eat 100 calories/day more than you burn, then you will gain about ten pounds per year.
If you eat 500 calories/day fewer than you burn, then you will lose about one pound per week.

Yes, it really is that simple. The most important part of weight management is finding a way to eat a consistent number of calories. If you're gaining weight on a consistent diet, it means you're eating too much.

Even if you're writing down your food intake, many people find it VERY HARD to keep their Calorie intake below their BMR, because they confuse "growling stomach" with hunger. No, growling stomach is not a sign of hunger. Low blood sugar / light headedness / sudden irritibility is a sign of hunger. Your stomach growls when your body thinks you might be about to shovel in a bunch of food. You can break the cycle by drinking water and "toughing it out" for half an hour. Once you finally do that, it will be 10x easier to lose weight.

p.s. Morning sunlight might help you resist cravings or something, but it does not affect the equation for calories in vs. calories burned.

Re:Breaking news (1)

mmell (832646) | about 4 months ago | (#46658609)

Your stomach growls because it's moving a mixture of solids and liquids inside a (somewhat) sealed system. Fluids flow down, gasses bubble up, and the walls of the container are flexible enough to make the body a sounding board. Those sounds are even a great diagnostic indicator (their absence demonstrates that there is some sort of gastrointestinal problem).

Polar Nights (1)

jppiiroinen (2664019) | about 4 months ago | (#46658137)

I guess this is why all the people living in Nordic Countries are obese.

Re:Polar Nights (1)

dadelbunts (1727498) | about 4 months ago | (#46658797)

Right? Its like these people didnt take 5 minutes to actually look at daylight lengths in places. Mexico comes to mind as well.

Sun, whole milk, dark chocolate... (2)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 4 months ago | (#46658177)

First they tell us that dark chocolate is good for us because of the antioxidants and that it reduces the amount of fat that your body adsorbs from other foods.
http://www.scientificamerican.... [scientificamerican.com]
http://www.medicalnewstoday.co... [medicalnewstoday.com]

Then they tell us that whole milk, cheese, etc. keeps us leaner
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesa... [npr.org]

Now bathing in sunlight (don't forget the sunscreen) will help us manage our weight.

So, I guess this means that eating dark chocolate, chasing it down with whole milk, while sitting in the sun and reading (good thing I own a Kindle) will help me get rid of those unwanted pounds... Ahhh... This IS the life.... (grin)

What exactly is morning (1)

nickol (208154) | about 4 months ago | (#46658423)

In northern countries a day in the winter is short, in southern countries it is longer. As we do not notice big difference between body weight in north and south, what is morning exactly? Is it the time just after you wake up and turn on light? Or is it time when the Sun rises? Or what?

Personal Experiance (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 4 months ago | (#46658469)

A few years ago I started using a couple plug strips each with 6 'daylight' florescent bulbs during the winter (in Seattle).

Gazing into them for the 10-20 minutes of groggy 'just woke up' time gives me, personally, a boost through the whole day; followed by being able to fall asleep at a reasonable hour in the evening.

ymmv, but if you suffer from chronic sleep schedule drift, I would recommend trying it. You don't need an expensive 'lamp system' Just be sure to get the blue-ish 'daylight' bulbs, not the reddish 'warm' bulbs.

Re:Personal Experiance (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about 4 months ago | (#46658625)

A few years ago I started using a couple plug strips each with 6 'daylight' florescent bulbs during the winter (in Seattle).

"Daylight" florescent bulbs are just regular fluorescent bulbs with a color temperature of a bluer tone than normal. The actual light spectrum they put out isn't going to be vastly different. It's not the same as those sunlight-mimicking bulbs you're referring to.

Have you tried this same routine with normal color florescent lights by the same manufacturer to see what happens?

Re:Personal Experiance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46658847)

My personal experience: Every couple of years I go on vacation to a tropical island for 5 weeks. To my surprise I have lost weight every time, up to 1 kg a week. I always assumed it was because of a combination of more exercise, healthier food and aggressive gut bacteria. But certainly not from eating less. I'm going to go walking early in the morning now, just to try this light thing out.

Its the brain! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46658581)

The reason this happens is because there is a bundle of neurons in the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus. These neurons receive blue light from your eyes to precisely control sleep/wake rhythms. These neurons feed directly into the arcuate nucleus, the part of the hypothalamus that senses hormones and regulates your metabolism, hunger, and alertness.

Source: Im a neuro-endocrinology researcher. Im also working on an open source genomics experiment to study this stuff. Join if you have genome and fitbit data! www.infino.me

Don't confuse causation with correlation. (1)

mmell (832646) | about 4 months ago | (#46658585)

Perhaps an as yet unknown agent contributes to obesity and makes it less likely for its sufferers to be up early enough to get some early morning sunshine. The lack of exposure at that time of day doesn't necessarily cause the obesity; nor does obesity directly prevent exposure to early bright light. They both could well spring from some other mechanism.

Exception to the rule? (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | about 4 months ago | (#46658605)

Obviously, I am once again an exception. I take the bike to work and I do it most of the week during spring, summer and fall. I have 30+ minutes of exposure to light in the morning. I'm still a fat fuck. That despite balanced meals, carbohydrate consciousness and aforementioned 3 to six hours of physical exercise per week.

So frankly, fuck all those weight 'scientists'.

Re:Exception to the rule? (2)

Ceryx (1416491) | about 4 months ago | (#46658821)

Are you eating these balanced, low-carb meals at a calorie deficit in correlation to your daily exercise? If so and you aren't losing weight it might be time to check your thyroid hormone levels. Sunlight sure as hell didn't help me lose 25kg, but recording caloric intake while stopping sugar and simple carbohydrate consumption did.

Re:Exception to the rule? (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | about 4 months ago | (#46658865)

I have lost 23 kilos. I know how it works. But at the time, I've had no job. I was sleeping whenever and as long as I wanted, on most days I didn't have to be anywhere.

Then I found another job. 10kg returned in no time.

I'm telling you, what makes me fat is job induced stress and there is just no way getting around that, unless I want to get out of IT (which, in turn, would bring a lot of anxiety with it).

Better rename the article .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46658757)

as "Modern study finds now what India discovered in ancient times" - It is known as Surya Namaskar

stupid topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46658909)

what have trees got to do with computers? I need to find a real tech site about computers and stuff.

Redundant: This Comment! && This Study! (1)

udippel (562132) | about 4 months ago | (#46659269)

This comment is just as redundant as the request to the editors to throw garbage like this into the waste-bin instead of treading us to it and waste even more bits.

Correlation is no causation and here Northwestern Medicine ought to pay back the funding and instead be supplied with brown bags for over their heads: "This bag covers gently the red face of someone who bungled it on science"

Yep, this case could make it into a new standard textbook example why correlation is obviously no causation. It is so bloody obvious that even a /.-editor can be expected to understand it. The assumption is really and seriously ridiculous.
Any remnant of common sense teaches any low-IQ person that the light can not have any influence of BMI; be it morning light or late afternoon light. Common sense dictates that the early bird simply favours a lifestyle different from the average late riser.
Nothing to be seen here: You may move on happily! - Northwestern Medicine has actually confirmed that BMI depends to a large extends on someone's lifestyle.

Does it count if I go to bed for 8 hours after... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 months ago | (#46659341)

Am wondering if it counts if I see the sun rise outside and then go to bed for the night/day.

50 people ??? (1)

tommeke100 (755660) | about 4 months ago | (#46659551)

Seriously? How is that even statistically significant?

Well, then (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 4 months ago | (#46659635)

The study was small and short.

Never mind.

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