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Feasting fliers not at fault for weight gain, research concludes

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Published: 17/10/2014 - Filed under: News »

Feasting on first class food may not be why some frequent fliers end up as fatties, new research claims.

According to scientists in Israel, the problem is not to do with lavish meals in first and business class or the temporary swelling associated with just sitting on a flight, known as "Boeing Bloat". 

The real cause, according to the new research, is that organisms that live in our guts have a strong circadian rhythm that becomes disrupted when we change time zones. When mice were put into different time zones, scientists found they ate more erratically, put on weight and developed metabolic problems associated with diabetes.

Dr Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, said: "Our discovery could enable probiotic or antimicrobial intervention in people who have lifestyles they can’t change, to compensate for the time shifts."

Unsurprisingly, the research was funded by a company that sells probiotics, which the manufacturers claim can help compensate for the time shifts that frequent fliers often encounter. This might make some sceptical – and provide a great excuse to carry on eating.

Gary Noakes

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