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Hot, tired and hungry: the snacking behaviour and food cravings of firefighters during multi-day simulated wildfire suppression

Gupta, Charlotte C., Ferguson, Sally A., Aisbett, Brad, Dominiak, Michelle, Chappel, Stephanie E., Sprajcer, Madeline, Fullagar, Hugh H. K., Khalesi, Saman, Guy, Joshua H. and Vincent, Grace E. 2020, Hot, tired and hungry: the snacking behaviour and food cravings of firefighters during multi-day simulated wildfire suppression, Nutrients, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 1-18, doi: 10.3390/nu12041160.

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Title Hot, tired and hungry: the snacking behaviour and food cravings of firefighters during multi-day simulated wildfire suppression
Author(s) Gupta, Charlotte C.
Ferguson, Sally A.
Aisbett, BradORCID iD for Aisbett, Brad orcid.org/0000-0001-8077-0272
Dominiak, Michelle
Chappel, Stephanie E.ORCID iD for Chappel, Stephanie E. orcid.org/0000-0001-6559-8929
Sprajcer, Madeline
Fullagar, Hugh H. K.
Khalesi, Saman
Guy, Joshua H.
Vincent, Grace E.
Journal name Nutrients
Volume number 12
Issue number 4
Start page 1
End page 18
Total pages 18
Publisher MDPI
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publication date 2020-04
ISSN 2072-6643
Keyword(s) bushfire
fatigue
sleep
snacking
Summary Firefighters are exposed to numerous stressors during wildfire suppression, including working in hot temperatures and sleep restricted conditions. Research has shown that when sleep restricted, individuals choose foods higher in carbohydrates, fat, and sugar, and have increased cravings for calorie dense foods. However, there is currently no research on the combined effect of heat and sleep restriction on snacking behaviour. Conducting secondary analyses from a larger study, the current study aimed to investigate the impact of heat and sleep restriction on snacking behaviour and food cravings. Sixty-six firefighters completed three days of simulated physically demanding firefighting work and were randomly allocated to either the control (n = 18, CON; 19 °C, 8h sleep opportunity), sleep restricted (n = 16, SR; 19 °C, 4-h sleep opportunity), hot (n = 18, HOT; 33 °C, 8h sleep opportunity), or hot and sleep restricted (n = 14 HOT + SR; 33 °C, 4-h sleep opportunity) condition. During rest periods firefighters were able to self-select sweet, savoury, or healthy snacks from a ration pack and were asked to rate their hunger, fullness, and cravings every two hours (eating block). Mixed model analyses revealed no difference in total energy intake between conditions, however there was a significant interaction between eating block and condition, with those in the CON, HOT, and HOT + SR condition consuming significantly more energy between 1230 and 1430 compared to the SR condition (p = 0.002). Sleep restriction and heat did not impact feelings of hunger and fullness across the day, and did not lead to greater cravings for snacks, with no differences between conditions. These findings suggest that under various simulated firefighting conditions, it is not the amount of food that differs but the timing of food intake, with those that are required to work in hot conditions while sleep restricted more likely to consume food between 1230 and 1430. This has potential implications for the time of day in which a greater amount of food should be available for firefighters.
Language eng
DOI 10.3390/nu12041160
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 1111 Nutrition and Dietetics
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30136570

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.