New research published in the journal Pediatric Obesity suggests a possible association between inconsistent sleep patterns and loss-of-control eating in youth
Researchers at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Maryland, USA provided a group of youths aged 8-17 with actigraphy monitors to assess their sleep over a two-week period. During this time, the participants were asked to report on the severity of loss-of-control eating - the feeling of being unable to control what or how much one eats - and food cravings, by completing surveys on smartphones provided to them.
Whilst the study did not find a significant association between sleep patterns and food cravings, it did reveal a number of associations between weekly shifts in facets of sleep and loss-of-control eating. The severity of loss-of-control eating appeared to be more severe in youths with shorter weekly sleep duration, earlier weekly midpoints (the halfway point between going to sleep and waking) and later weekly wake times.
The study provides a new insight on how inconsistent sleep patterns may promote excess weight gain in youth, suggesting greater or more frequent shifts in sleep duration and timing across two weeks may be linked to the severity of loss-of-control eating. The authors recommend that sleep should be assessed as a potentially modifiable target in pediatric loss-of-control eating and obesity prevention programs.
The full study, Associations of Sleep with Food Cravings and Loss-of Control Eating in Youth: An Ecological Momentary Assessment Study, is available to read in Pediatric Obesity via Early View.
About Pediatric Obesity
Pediatric Obesity is a peer-reviewed, monthly journal with an impact factor of 4.000. Owned by the World Obesity Federation, the journal is devoted to research into obesity during childhood and adolescence. The topic is currently at the centre of intense interest in the scientific community, and is of increasing concern to health policy-makers and the public at large.Learn more