No, it’s not news that lack of sleep is tied to fat.
What sleep researcher Dr. Orfeu Buxton found is more information on how this occurs.
The resting metabolic rate of the volunteers by the end of the five weeks was 8% lower than where they had started. [...] That could explain why night shift workers tend to gain more weight and have a higher likelihood of obesity than day workers; such weight gain is linked to an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Wow, it’s like the number of calories burned isn’t standard across all bodies at all times! Or not just affected by exercise!
The scientists learned something else interesting about another mechanism that put the disrupted sleepers at higher risk of diabetes: the combination of having their circadian clocks reversed (sleeping during the day and waking at night) and the poorer sleep they got as a result had an effect on their insulin levels. After three weeks in the lab, the participants produced about a third less insulin from the pancreas in response to meals; with less insulin available to break down glucose, blood glucose levels started to rise and three of the 21 volunteers showed high enough levels to qualify them as pre-diabetic.
Two things struck me about this. First is that it occurred after 3 weeks. Second is that only 3 of the 21 volunteers reached the pre-diabetic range, even though they were all living in the same lab undergoing the same regimen. Again, it’s like they’re individuals or something.