Late night snacking is becoming the norm in Australia, new research has shown. Picture: Craig Wilson
Late night snacking is becoming the norm in Australia, new research has shown. Picture: Craig Wilson

Why Australians are googling ‘pizza’ at 2am

THE munchies are hitting Australians in the middle of the night as Google trends show 2am is a peak time for fast food searches.

The unusual eating behaviours are mirrored across the globe and are not culturally dependent, according to new research in the Royal Society Open Science journal.

The times of 7pm and 2am are peak periods for hunger pangs for people living in the UK, Canada and India.

Services like Ubereats are driving a food delivery boom in Australia.
Services like Ubereats are driving a food delivery boom in Australia.

Researchers from The University of Aberdeen found there is a robust daily rhythm for internet-based food-related key word searches.

The internet hits are consistent across all days of the week.

Researchers say the findings provide useful information to examine behavioural rhythms in motivation, in particular the drive to maintain energy balance.

While students play a part in the 2am spike, it is expected that some of the googlers have Night Eating Syndrome - a delayed circadian pattern of food intake.

"Sleep is a very big part of keeping weight stable, so for those who are not working shifts it's not a good idea to order high calorie food at night," Nutrition Australia's Aloysa Hourigan said.

"The metabolism slows down later in the evening so those who need to eat in the early morning should think of more nourishing and nutrient-rich food that sustains them."

Tameeka Dai and Jordan Hooper with a late-night snack in Brisbane’s party district Fortitude Valley. Picture: AAP/Steve Pohlner
Tameeka Dai and Jordan Hooper with a late-night snack in Brisbane’s party district Fortitude Valley. Picture: AAP/Steve Pohlner

Pizza is the top choice of takeaway in Australia and Japanese sashimi is considered one of the healthiest.

Tameeka Dai, 20, from Kippa Ring, and Rothwell's Jordan Hooper, 21, said they could understand the appeal of a late night snack.

"I have been known to get pizza after a night out," she said.


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