Background: Some evidence suggests that higher energy intake (EI) later in the day is associated with poor diet quality and obesity. However, EI at one eating occasion (EO) is also dependent on EI at surrounding EOs. Studies that examine the distribution of EOs across the day are rare.Objective: The aim of this study was to examine associations between temporal eating patterns, nutrient intakes, diet quality, and measures of adiposity in a representative sample of Australian adults.Design: Dietary data from two 24-h recalls collected during the cross-sectional 2011-2012 Australian National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey were analyzed (n = 4544 adults, aged ≥19 y). Temporal eating patterns, based on the distribution of EOs across the day, were determined by using latent class analysis. Diet quality estimated adherence to healthy eating recommendations and was assessed by using the 2013 Dietary Guidelines Index (DGI). Multivariate regression models assessed associations between temporal eating patterns, nutrient intakes, diet quality, and adiposity (body mass index, waist circumference, weight status, and central weight status). Models were adjusted for potential confounders and energy misreporting.Results: Three patterns, labeled "conventional," "later lunch," and "grazing," were identified. Compared with a "conventional" or "later lunch" pattern, men and women with a "grazing" pattern had lower DGI scores and higher intakes of discretionary (noncore) foods (P < 0.05). Among women, the "grazing" pattern was associated with overweight or obesity (OR: 1.57; 95% CI: 1.15, 2.13) and central overweight or obesity (OR: 1.73; 95% CI: 1.19, 2.50). These associations were attenuated after the exclusion of energy misreporters and adjustment for total EI.Conclusions: This study found that a "grazing" temporal eating pattern was modestly but significantly associated with poorer diet quality and adiposity among women, after adjustment for covariates and energy misreporting. Future research should consider the impact of energy misreporting on the relation between temporal eating patterns and adiposity. This secondary analysis was registered at anzctr.org.au as ACTRN12617001029381.
Keywords: diet quality; eating occasion; latent class analysis; meal timing; obesity.
© 2017 American Society for Nutrition.