Does Sleep Duration and Quality have an Influence on the Consumption of Snacks High in Saturated Fat or Free sugar? A Cross Sectional Study Comparing Men and Women aged 18-35 years.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background: Within the UK, chronic sleep restriction is common and high energy dense snacks are widely available. Sleep (duration and quality) along with a diet high in free sugar and saturated fat is associated with obesity. Method: A food frequency questionnaire, adapted from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Norfolk study, as well as, questions derived from Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, were used to address 50 participants’ snack and sleeping habits over a period of one week. Results: The most frequently consumed energy dense snack for men was found to be chocolate which was eaten by 78.9% of male participants. This differed from the womens most frequently consumed high energy dense snack which was found to be crisps; eaten by 83.9% of females. Males were more likely to consume snacks high in fat and free sugar when they slept for less than 7 hours (n=180, 42.5%). In comparison, females consumed more energy dense snacks (n=225, 41.9%) when they achieved the recommend sleep time (7-8 hours). Both genders consumed snacks more frequently when they achieved ‘excellent’ sleep efficiency (>85%). Conclusion: In this study, short sleep duration (<7 hours) in males; recommended sleep (7-8 hours) in females and ‘excellent’ sleep quality (>85%) in both genders, have shown to play a role in an individual’s consumption of high energy dense snacks. However, as sleep duration varies between each individual and such limited research to date regarding sleep quality, it is evident that more research is needed before generalising to a population.
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