Late Eating is Associated With an Unhealthy Diet


  • A. Meule
  • P. Platte


Background: Eveningness preference (“late chronotypesâ€) and night eating syndrome are associated with higher nocturnal food intake and higher body-mass-index (BMI). Beyond consuming large portions of food in the evening, diet quality in late eaters might also be a factor contributing to weight gain. Methods: Female students (N = 133) completed the Night Eating Questionnaire (NEQ) and the Food Frequency List (FFL). Height, weight, and body composition were measured. Findings: The total score of the NEQ, and particularly its subscale evening hyperphagia, was negatively correlated with the Diet Quality Index of the FFL, indicating eating a more unhealthy diet with increasing night eating scores. When looking at the specific food categories, higher NEQ scores were associated with more frequent intake of chocolate, cakes and cookies, candy, cheese, fruit juice and sugary soft drinks. Higher scores were also associated with less frequent intake of fresh fruits and mineral water. However, neither NEQ scores nor the Diet Quality Index were associated with BMI or body fat. Discussion: Habitual late eating is marked by poor diet quality, which may be a risk factor for future weight gain.






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