Our smartphones and tablets could be driving up our cravings for sweets and sugary foods.
Dutch scientists have found that just one hour of exposure to the blue light emitted from our devices at night is enough to affect our appetites and impact our blood sugar levels.
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The study, led by Anayanci Masis-Vargas and colleagues from the University of Strasbourg and the University of Amsterdam, exposed rats to artificial blue light and measured their food consumption and glucose tolerance the following day.
The rats were given the option to choose between rodent food, water, lard, and sugar water – and the researchers found that the male rats would drink more sugar that night compared to nights where they had no blue light exposure.
Scientists believe the blue light leads to an alteration in hormones – which may explain the higher appetite and glucose intolerance.
“Limiting the amount of time that we spend in front of screens at night is, for now, the best measure to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of blue light,” said Masis-Vargas in the study.
“In case it is necessary to be exposed to devices at night, I would recommend the use of apps and night mode features on the devices, which turn the screens more orange and less blue or the use of blue light filtering goggles that are already available in the market.”
Previous research also showed a strong correlation between artificial light at night and obesity.
This article originally appeared on 7News