JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Chronotype is associated with eating behaviors, physical activity and overweight in school-aged children.

Nutrition Journal 2023 October 7
BACKGROUND: A later chronotype has been found to be associated with unhealthy habits and diseases, such as an unhealthy diet and metabolic syndrome in adults. Little is known about the association between chronotype, eating habits, physical activity and obesity. Thus, this study aimed to explore the relationships between chronotype, eating behaviors, physical activity, and overweight in Chinese school-aged children.

METHODS: Data from this study was based on 952 schoolchildren (10-12 y) from six primary schools that participated in China. Anthropometric measurements of height and body weight were performed. Information about sleeping habits, dietary behaviors, and other lifestyle behaviors was gathered using a self-administered questionnaire. Multiple linear regression analysis or multivariable logistic regression model was performed to assess the associations between chronotype, eating behaviors, physical activity, and overweight.

RESULTS: Nearly 70% (69.9%) of the participants had a self-reported morning chronotype. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed chronotype score was positively associated with physical activities (all P values < 0.001) and sleep duration (all P values < 0.001) and negatively associated with BMI, meal time, eating jet lag and social jet lag (all P values < 0.001). Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that compared to morning types, non-morning types individuals were more likely to be overweight (OR = 1.593, P value < 0.05), and had more frequent consumption of fast food (OR = 1.616, P value < 0.05), but less frequent consumption of milk (OR = 0.716, P value < 0.05), less time taking part in moderate (OR = 1.356, P value < 0.05) or muscle strengthening (OR = 1.393, 1.877, P value < 0.05) physical activity.

CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that early chronotype children are more active, have healthier dietary habits, get more sleep, have shorter social jet lag, and are less likely to be overweight than non-early chronotype children. Our findings suggest that later chronotype may be a potential indicator in the early detection of overweight, unhealthy eating, and physical inactivity behaviors. Chronotype has been found to have an important impact on individual's health. In the present study, we conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate the association between chronotype, eating behaviors, physical activity, and overweight in school-aged children. The findings showed that children with early chronotype is associated with more active, healthier dietary behaviors, longer sleep duration, short social jet lag, and a lower risk of overweight.

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