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Short Sleep Linked to Distracted Secondary Eating, Drinking and Obesity

Biology

Short Sleep Linked to Distracted Secondary Eating, Drinking and Obesity

A recent cross-sectional study conducted by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham explored a new pathway between short sleep — less than seven hours — and obesity.
Gabriel S. Tajeu, DrPH, a postdoctoral fellow in UAB’s Department of Epidemiology, in collaboration with Bisakha Sen, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Health Care Organization and Policy, found “short sleep is associated with more time spent in secondary eating and, in particular, secondary drinking. This potentially suggests a pathway from short sleep to increased caloric intake in the form of beverages and distracted eating and thus potential increased obesity risk, although more research is needed.”
“The association between short sleep and obesity risk is well-established,” Tajeu said. “However, we are looking at whether short sleep is linked to more time spent in secondary eating or drinking, that is, eating or drinking beverages other than water — such as sugar-sweetened beverages — while primarily engaged in another activity, such as television watching.”
Using data from 28,150 American adults (55.8 percent female) ranging in ages from 21 to 65 who participated in the American Time Use Survey between 2006 and 2008, the investigators assessed time spent on secondary eating and drinking as well as primary eating and drinking, with sleep duration as the principal independent variable.

The research suggests a pathway from short sleep to increased caloric intake in the form of beverages and distracted eating and thus potential increased obesity risk. Image is adapted from the University of Alabama at Birmingham press release.
The authors estimated multivariable regression models, an analysis technique that uses multiple variables including participants’ demographic characteristics like race and gender, socioeconomic characteristics. and weekday versus weekend participation in ATUS, in order to determine the association of short sleep and eating and drinking behaviors. Compared with participants reporting having experienced normal sleep — between seven and eight hours —those reporting short sleep engaged in secondary eating an additional 8.7 minutes a day as well as an additional 28.6 and 31.28 minutes daily of secondary drinking on weekdays and weekends, respectively.
About this sleep research
Source: L. Amanda Owens – University of Alabama at Birmingham
Image Source: The image is adapted from the University of Alabama at Birmingham press release
Original Research:Abstract for “New Pathways From Short Sleep to Obesity? Associations Between Short Sleep and ‘Secondary’ Eating and Drinking Behavior” by Gabriel S. Tajeu, DrPH, MPH; and Bisakha Sen, PhD in American Journal of Health Promotion. Published online November 2015 doi:10.4278/ajhp.140509-QUAN-198
Abstract
New Pathways From Short Sleep to Obesity? Associations Between Short Sleep and ‘Secondary’ Eating and Drinking Behavior
Purpose. The association between short sleep and obesity risk is well established. However, we explore a new pathway between short sleep and obesity: whether short sleep is linked to more time spent in secondary eating or drinking, that is, eating or drinking (beverages other than water, such as sugar-sweetened beverages) while primarily engaged in another activity, such as television watching.
Design. This pooled cross-sectional study uses data from the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) from 2006 to 2008.
Setting. The study takes place in the United States.
Subjects. Subjects are 28,150 adults (55.8% female) aged 21 to 65 who were surveyed in the ATUS.
Measures. Outcomes are time spent on (1) secondary eating and drinking and (2) primary eating and drinking. Our main predictor variable is sleep duration.
Analysis. Controlling for demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the respondents, we estimate multivariate regression-analysis models for the full sample, as well as by weekday/weekend status, race, and gender subgroups.
Results. In multivariate models, compared to respondents reporting normal sleep, short sleep was associated with additional 8.7 (SE = 2.1) minutes per day of secondary eating (p
Conclusions. We find that short sleep is associated with more time spent in secondary eating and, in particular, secondary drinking. This potentially suggests a pathway from short sleep to increased caloric intake in the form of beverages and distracted eating and thus potential increased obesity risk, although more research is needed.
“New Pathways From Short Sleep to Obesity? Associations Between Short Sleep and ‘Secondary’ Eating and Drinking Behavior” by Gabriel S. Tajeu, DrPH, MPH; and Bisakha Sen, PhD in American Journal of Health Promotion. Published online November 2015 doi:10.4278/ajhp.140509-QUAN-198
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