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A multifaceted assessment of the nutritional status, diet and eating habits of midwives working on a shift schedule in Wrocław, Poland: evaluation of macronutrients, vitamins and minerals in the diets of midwives participating in the study.

OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to assess the nutritional status and diet of midwives working on a shift schedule in public hospitals in Wrocław, Poland, and to analyze the variation in their diet according to their working hours (day shift, night shift) and on a non-working day.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: In the group of 50 midwives, employed in 4 public hospitals in Wrocław weight and body composition, waist and hip circumference, waist-hip-ratio and BMI were assessed. The nutritional habits and quality of the study participants' diets were assessed by 3-days food dietary recall, including 1 day shift day, 1 night shift day, and 1 non-working day.

RESULTS: More than half of the subjects were assessed as having excess body weight (BMI ≥25 kg/m2 ). Thirty percent of participants had BMI ≥25-<30 kg/m2 and 24% BMI ≥30 kg/m2 , 70% had a body fat percentage >30%. Fifty-six percent of the diets had an energy value <90% of the subject's total daily energy expenditure. Significantly higher energy value of diets on the night shift day compared to the morning shift day (1959.05±596.09 kcal vs. 1715.36±654.55 kcal, p = 0.01) were observed. The same relationship applied to cholesterol content (349.50±155.33 mg vs. 261.39±190.59 mg, p = 0.002). A high intake of phosphorus and sodium, exceeding the recommended dietary intake, was noticed.

CONCLUSIONS: The occurrence of a night shift in the shift work schedule is an element of that model that may have a significant impact on the nutritional and health value of shift workers' diets. Therefore, it seems reasonable to implement nutritional education programs promoting healthy eating choices and habits during night work. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2023;36(5).

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