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Association between Irregular Meal Timing and the Mental Health of Japanese Workers

Laboratory of Physiology and Pharmacology, School of Advanced Science and Engineering, Waseda University, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8480, Japan
Research and Development Headquarters, Lion Corporation, Edogawa, Tokyo 132-0035, Japan
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Giovanna Muscogiuri and Daniela Laudisio
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2775;
Received: 15 July 2021 / Revised: 11 August 2021 / Accepted: 11 August 2021 / Published: 13 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Chrononutrition and Chronic Diseases)
Breakfast skipping and nighttime snacking have been identified as risk factors for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. However, the effects of irregularity of meal timing on health and daily quality of life are still unclear. In this study, a web-based self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted involving 4490 workers (73.3% males; average age = 47.4 ± 0.1 years) in Japan to investigate the association between meal habits, health, and social relationships. This study identified that irregular meal timing was correlated with higher neuroticism (one of the Big Five personality traits), lower physical activity levels, and higher productivity loss. Irregular meal timing was also associated with a higher incidence of sleep problems and lower subjective health conditions. Among health outcomes, a high correlation of irregular meal timing with mental health factors was observed. This study showed that irregularity of meal timing can be explained by unbalanced diets, frequent breakfast skipping, increased snacking frequency, and insufficient latency from the last meal to sleep onset. Finally, logistic regression analysis was conducted, and a significant contribution of meal timing irregularity to subjective mental health was found under adjustment for other confounding factors. These results suggest that irregular meal timing is a good marker of subjective mental health issues. View Full-Text
Keywords: chrono-nutrition; circadian clock; sleep chrono-nutrition; circadian clock; sleep
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tahara, Y.; Makino, S.; Suiko, T.; Nagamori, Y.; Iwai, T.; Aono, M.; Shibata, S. Association between Irregular Meal Timing and the Mental Health of Japanese Workers. Nutrients 2021, 13, 2775.

AMA Style

Tahara Y, Makino S, Suiko T, Nagamori Y, Iwai T, Aono M, Shibata S. Association between Irregular Meal Timing and the Mental Health of Japanese Workers. Nutrients. 2021; 13(8):2775.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tahara, Yu, Saneyuki Makino, Takahiko Suiko, Yuki Nagamori, Takao Iwai, Megumi Aono, and Shigenobu Shibata. 2021. "Association between Irregular Meal Timing and the Mental Health of Japanese Workers" Nutrients 13, no. 8: 2775.

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