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"Sleeping more than 9 hours or less than 6 hours is associated with an increased risk of overweight and obesity, both in adults and in adolescents and children."

The XVII conference of update in Nutrition of the University of Navarra, with the partnership of Cinfa, brought together experts and more than 700 participants around the metabolic health and nutritional wellness

/Organizers and speakers at workshop. Front row: Marian Zulet, Olga Aguirre, Ana Velasco, Griselda Herrero, Saioa Segura and María Izquierdo. Second row: María Javier Ramírez, Roncesvalles Garayoa, Paula Aranaz and Fermín Milagro.

30 | 03 | 2023

"Poor restorative sleep and/or sleep restriction has been shown to negatively influence the quality of our per diem expenses, which could explain weight gain. And conversely, our diet can influence the duration and quality of sleep: healthy diets such as the Mediterranean patron saint and an adequate intake of fiber, proteins, carbohydrates and certain foods can help to have a higher quality sleep". This is one of the conclusions drawn by Dr. María Izquierdo-Pulido last Friday at the University of Navarra. The professor of the University of Barcelona participated along with other experts in the 17th edition of the conference of update in Nutrition organized by the School of Pharmacy and Nutrition, which brought together more than 700 participants, both in person and online.

"If you don't get enough sleep, the cardiovascular, endocrine and immune systems are altered. Likewise, a relationship has been demonstrated between sleep quality and certain metabolic alterations, such as diabetes and obesity," explained the expert. "In fact, there is a U-shaped association between sleep duration and body weight, which indicates that too much sleep (more than 9 hours per night) or too little sleep (less than 6 hours) is related to an increased risk of overweight and obesity in children, adolescents and adults".

To prevent it, Izquierdo provided some basic tips to ensure better quality sleep, such as not drinking too much coffee, avoiding alcoholic beverages and having a light but complete dinner, preferably 2 to 2.5 hours before going to sleep. He also highlighted the benefits of following regular schedules throughout the week, both for sleep and meals, exposing oneself to sunlight, especially shortly after getting up, being physically active, avoiding long naps and not exposing oneself to screens (cell phone, computer, television, etc.) before going to bed. "These are strategies that can help to have a better quality sleep, because sleep is also prepared during the day," he concluded.

Chrononutrition or how to improve schedules to improve health

Along the same lines, Ana Velasco, dietitian-nutritionist at research center in Nutrition at the University of Navarra, pointed out the benefits of focusing on when to eat as an effective strategy to improve health. "The circadian system allows the body to anticipate and be prepared for predictable changes in light, darkness and availability of nutrients," she explained. "However, changes in meal times can activate nutrient metabolism pathways independently of the circadian system and modify the rhythm of peripheral clocks. These external stimuli, if received at the wrong time over several months or years, can result in chronic disruption of the circadian system and consequently worsen metabolic health."

This is the context of chrononutrition, a field of study that has grown in popularity in recent years, and which focuses on the relationship between feeding schedules, internal biological rhythms and their impact on metabolic health. The demands of today's modern society mean that more and more people are forced to adopt inappropriate eating schedules, stretching feeding windows into the evening or consuming most of their caloric intake late in the day. "As a consequence, there is evidence that the adoption of these temporal eating patterns are associated with increased risk of obesity, diabetes subject 2 and, at final, poorer metabolic health."

"There is increasing evidence to suggest that aligning food intake with periods of the day when circadian rhythms of metabolic processes are optimal for nutrition may be effective in improving metabolic health." Thus, the University of Navarra researcher detailed how circadian rhythms in glucose and lipid homeostasis, insulin responsiveness and sensitivity, energy expense and postprandial metabolism may favor dietary patterns that distribute a greater proportion of energy during the early hours of the day, and avoid food consumption near the biological night. "In addition, recent research suggests that adopting this subject of patron saint eating may decrease the sensation of hunger and appetite during the day and, consequently, promote control of energy balance."

Participants in person at conference of update in Nutrition.

meeting of experts on metabolic health and nutritional wellness

This edition of the conference of update in Nutrition, which counted with the partnership of Cinfa, also included the participation of experts in metabolic health and nutritional well-being. Fermín Milagro, director of the "Precision Nutrition" line of the research center in Nutrition and member of CIBERobn, addressed the advances in research on omic technologies as tool of health. Paula Aranaz, researcher at the same Center, detailed how the modulation of oxidative stress and inflation favor a better metabolic state and less cellular aging.

In addition, Griselda Herrero, CEO of Norte Salud Psiconutrición, InGENyO and 3COME, discussed Psiconutrition at enquiry, providing practical resources for emotional eating, while Saioa Segura, dietician-nutritionist at the high performing Center in Sant Cugat del Vallès, spoke about availability energy, health and sports performance.