Energy metabolism and appetite regulating hormones follow circadian rhythms which, when disrupted, could lead to adverse metabolic consequences. Such circadian misalignment, a mismatch between endogenous circadian rhythms and behavior, is most severely experienced by shift workers, due to nighttime wake, daytime sleep, and eating at night. However, circadian misalignment is not restricted to shift workers; milder shifts in sleep and mealtimes, termed social and eating jetlag, are highly prevalent in the general population. Social and eating jetlag result in later mealtimes, which may promote positive energy balance and weight gain. Earlier meal timing, specific to individual endogenous circadian patterns, could serve to reduce cardiometabolic disease burden and aid in weight loss and interventions should be done to test this.
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