Night eating, weight, and health behaviors in adults participating in the Daily24 study.

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Background: Night eating syndrome (NES) is associated with adverse health outcomes. This study evaluated the relationship between night eating severity, weight, and health behaviors.

Methods: Participants (N = 1017; 77.6% female, mean Body Mass Index (BMI) = 30.5, SD = 7.8 kg/m2, age = 51.1, SD = 15.0 years) were recruited from three health systems. Participants completed the Night Eating Questionnaire (NEQ) and questionnaires assessing sleep, chronotype, physical activity, diet, weight, and napping.

Results: In the overall sample, higher NEQ scores were associated with higher BMI (p < .001) and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (p < .001), as well as lower fruit/vegetable consumption (p = .001). Higher NEQ scores were associated with increased odds of having overweight/obesity (p < .001), eating fast food (p < .001), moderate-vigorous physical activity (p = .005), and smoking (p = .004). Participants who exceeded the screening threshold for NES (n = 48, 4.7%) reported elevated BMI (p = .014), an increased likelihood of overweight/obesity (p = .004), greater sugar-sweetened beverages consumption (p < .001), napping less than twice per week (p = .029), shorter sleep duration (p = .012), and a later chronotype (M = 4:55, SD = 2:45).

Conclusion: Night eating severity was associated with obesity and intake of fast food and sugar-sweetened beverages. Interventions to address night eating and associated behaviors may enhance the efficacy of weight management interventions and promote engagement in positive health behaviors.

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Eating Behaviors



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This article was published in Eating Behaviors, Volume 45.

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