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Nutrition. 2012 Nov-Dec;28(11-12):1146-50. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2012.04.015. Epub 2012 Aug 28.

Sleep deprivation is associated with lower diet quality indices and higher rate of general and central obesity among young female students in Iran.

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Food Security Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.



Short sleep duration and low diet quality are associated with weight gain. However, little is known about the relationship between sleep duration and the quality of diets. Therefore, we aimed to compare the diet quality indices and anthropometric measures between short and longer sleepers.


This cross-sectional study consisted of 410 female youths who were chosen among students of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences based on stratified random sampling method. Dietary intake assessment was done using a semiquantitative validated food frequency questionnaire. Sleep duration was estimated using self-reported nocturnal sleep duration by each person. Anthropometric measures were done using standard protocols. Diet quality indices (including dietary energy density, dietary diversity scores, healthy eating index, nutrient adequacy ratio, and mean adequacy ratio) were calculated using the standard definition.


Subjects who slept less than 6 h/d were more likely to be overweight and obese (P = 0.0001) and also abdominally obese (P = 0.03). They also consumed more dietary energy (2406 ± 825 versus 2092 ± 700 kcal/d; P = 0.01, respectively) and carbohydrates (58.1 ± 16.2% versus 51.6 ± 10.3%; P = 0.03) but a lower amount of fiber (12 ± 7 versus 18 ± 7 g/d; P = 0.04), fruits (2.4 ± 0.6 versus 3.1 ± 0.7 servings/d; P = 0.04), whole grains (0.9 ± 0.1 versus 1.3 ± 0.1 servings/d; P = 0.04), and beans (0.3 ± 0.1 versus 0.8 ± 0.1 servings/d; P = 0.04). All diet quality indices were significantly lower among short sleepers (P < 0.05), apart from dietary energy density, which did not differ significantly (P = 0.8).


Our findings confirm the association of short sleep duration and obesity in young female youths. It might be derived from lower diet quality among short sleepers more than longer sleepers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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