Associations of sleep with food cravings and loss-of-control eating in youth: An ecological momentary assessment study.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Inconsistent sleep patterns may promote excess weight gain by increasing food cravings and loss-of-control (LOC)-eating; however, these relationships have not been elucidated in youth. OBJECTIVE: We tested whether sleep duration and timing were associated with food cravings and LOC-eating. METHOD: For 14 days, youths wore actigraphy monitors to assess sleep and reported severity of food cravings and LOC-eating using ecological momentary assessment. Generalized linear mixed models tested the associations between weekly and nightly shifts in facets of sleep (i.e., duration, onset, midpoint, and waketime) and next-day food cravings and LOC-eating. Models were re-run adjusting for relevant covariates (e.g., age, sex, adiposity). RESULTS: Among 48 youths (12.88 ± 2.69 years, 68.8% female, 33.3% with overweight/obesity), neither weekly nor nightly facets of sleep were significantly associated with food cravings (ps = 0.08-0.93). Youths with shorter weekly sleep duration (est. ß = -0.31, p = 0.004), earlier weekly midpoints (est. ß = -0.47, p = 0.010) and later weekly waketimes (est. ß = 0.49, p = 0.010) reported greater LOC-eating severity; findings persisted in adjusted models. CONCLUSIONS: In youth, weekly, but not nightly, shifts in multiple facets of sleep were associated with LOC-eating severity; associations were not significant for food cravings. Sleep should be assessed as a potentially modifiable target in paediatric LOC-eating and obesity prevention programs.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Parker, MN; LeMay-Russell, S; Schvey, NA; Crosby, RD; Ramirez, E; Kelly, NR; Shank, LM; Byrne, ME; Engel, SG; Swanson, TN; Djan, KG; Kwarteng, EA; Faulkner, LM; Zenno, A; Brady, SM; Yanovski, SZ; Tanofsky-Kraff, M; Yanovski, JA

Published Date

  • February 2022

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 17 / 2

Start / End Page

  • e12851 -

PubMed ID

  • 34498417

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8766870

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2047-6310

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1111/ijpo.12851


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England