The relationship between chronotype, night eating behavior and fear of COVID-19 in academics

Chronobiol Int. 2022 Oct;39(10):1359-1367. doi: 10.1080/07420528.2022.2108714. Epub 2022 Aug 11.

Abstract

Academics are an occupational group that works at an intense pace. The number of studies on chronotype and night eating behavior in academics is limited, and there is insufficient data on whether fear of COVID-19 is also a risk for developing eating disorders. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between chronotype and night eating syndrome (NES) and examine the influence of fear of COVID-19 on night eating behavior in academics. The study data were collected using the personal information form, "Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire, The Night Eating Questionnaire (NEQ), and the Fear of COVID-19 Scale." According to the chronotypes of the academicians, it was determined that the score compatible with NES and the scores of the Fear of COVID-19 Scale differed statistically significantly, and the score compatible with NES and Fear of COVID-19 Scale scores were also higher in the evening type at a rate of 29.2% compared to other chronotypes (p < .05). The Fear of COVID-19 scale and Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire scores were significantly correlated with the Night Eating Questionnaire (R = .391 R2 = .153 p < .05). The variables of the Fear of COVID-19 Scale and the Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire explained 15% of the total variance of the Night Eating Questionnaire scores. Considering that academics are a group that works without the concept of overtime and whose work intensity is high, it is clear that studies should be conducted to raise awareness to protect the physical health of academics and prevent the development of eating disorders. There is a need for studies that question the relationship between chronotype, diet, and health.

Keywords: COVID−19; Chronotype; eating disorder; fear; night eating syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Fear
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Humans
  • Night Eating Syndrome*
  • Sleep
  • Surveys and Questionnaires