Late-night overeating is associated with smaller breakfast, breakfast skipping, and obesity in children: The Healthy Growth Study.Nutrition. 2017 Jan; 33:141-144.N
Excessive energy intake during evening hours is associated with several health problems. The aim of this study was to investigate for the first time the possible association of late-night overeating with breakfast habits and obesity in a large sample of Greek children ages 9 to 13 y.
In all, 2655 schoolchildren (9-13 y) participated in the Healthy Growth Study, a cross-sectional epidemiologic study conducted in 77 primary schools in four large regions in Greece. The present study presents results on 1912 children having full data regarding anthropometric, dietary, physical activity, and physical examination indices.
High-energy intake at dinner and evening snack was associated with higher likelihood of skipping breakfast (odds ratio, 1.85; 95% confidence interval 1.42-2.39) and with lower caloric intake at breakfast (β = 0.14; P < 0.001). Children at the lowest quartile of physical activity levels were found to have a positive association between the calories consumed at dinner and their body mass index (β = 0.11; P = 0.019). This association was inverse for children at the highest quartile of physical activity levels (β = -0.10; P = 0.033).
Late-night overeating is associated with skipping and/or consuming a smaller breakfast. In children with low levels of physical activity, it is associated with increased body mass index. Future relevant studies are essential to further explore and confirm the findings of the present study.