In our screen-addled age, blue light is an unavoidable part of daily life. It radiates from your work desktop, your smartphone, and even the energy-saving LED lights you installed in the kitchen.
While research into the negative health effects of blue light is not fully conclusive, it has been linked to various ailments from cancer and diabetes to heart disease, obesity, and poorer sleep. To add to that list, scientists presenting at this year’s conference of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB) say that blue light can trigger excessive sugary snack consumption – at least in rats.
The study found an hour of blue light exposure at night (aka: just enough time to watch an episode of The Crownor precisely six-tenths of Finding Nemo) led to elevated blood sugar levels and increased sugar consumption among male rats. The researchers note that their glucose-tolerance levels changed post-exposure – a warning sign of pre-diabetes.
Over the course of the study, the rats had their choice of nutritionally balanced food (i.e. standard rodent food), water, lard, and sugar water. When exposed to blue light at night – even for as short a time as one hour – they drank more sugar than when not. The rats were tested following a night of blue light exposure but more consistent exposure levels could result in weight gain and a diabetes diagnosis.
Though it is important to note that these observations were made in rats (and male rats specifically), the researchers warn that a similar process could be at work in people (and men, in particular) who are tied to their screens. READ MORE
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