Background:A very limited number of intervention trials and observational studies in adults have suggested that irregular eating frequency is associated with adverse profiles of metabolic risk factors, but evidence in younger populations is lacking. Objective:This cross-sectional study examined the association of variability in eating frequency with adiposity measures (n=1636) and blood lipid profiles (n=843) in British children aged 4-10 years (n=818 for adiposity measures and 324 for blood lipids) and adolescents aged 11-18 years (n=818 for adiposity measures and 519 for blood lipids). Design:Data from the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey were analyzed. Dietary intake was assessed using a 7-day weighed dietary record. Eating frequency was calculated based on all eating occasions, except for those providing <210 kJ of energy. Variability in eating frequency was calculated by adding the absolute difference between the 7-day mean eating frequency and that in each day divided by the number of days (7 days), with a higher value indicating a large weekly variability in eating frequency. Results:After adjustment for age, sex, social class, physical activity, ratio of reported energy intake to estimated energy requirement, body mass index z-score, eating frequency, and intakes of protein, saturated fat, total sugar and dietary fiber, variability in eating frequency was positively associated with total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in children aged 4-10 years (P=0.04 and 0.03, respectively), but not in adolescents aged 11-18 years. There were no associations between eating frequency variability and other metabolic risk factors examined, including body mass index z-score, waist-to-height ratio, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations.Conclusions:Larger variability in eating frequency was associated with higher total and LDL cholesterol concentrations in children aged 4-10 years.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics