January 2012/Prepared Foods -- Women whose jobs require them to rotate through day and night shifts (such as nurses) may be increasing their diabetes risk, especially if they maintain that schedule for a long period of time. A new study of nurses, reported in The Huffington Post (Dec. 8, 2011), states a woman’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases steadily with years of shift work. Compared to day nurses, those who also worked periodic night shifts for as few as three years were 20% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Those who clocked at least 20 years of shift work were nearly 60% more likely. Much of this can be explained by weight gain—a common side-effect of shift work, which disrupts eating and sleeping habits and can make following a healthy lifestyle more difficult. Also, notes the study, irregular work hours can disrupt the body’s circadian rhythms, which play a critical role in maintaining healthy blood-sugar metabolism and energy balance. The study appeared in the journal PLoS Medicine.pf