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Poor sleep quality is associated with an impaired eating pattern during the pandemic: a population-based study, COVID-Inconfidentes


During the pandemic, changes resulting from social and routine restrictions may have led to a change in sleep quality patterns. Furthermore, poor sleep quality may result in increased hunger and food intake, especially of ultra-processed


To evaluate the association of sleep quality with food consumption pattern during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Cross-sectional, population-based study, between October and December 2020 in two medium-sized cities in Minas Gerais. Sleep was assessed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, with a global score from 0 to 21. Scores of 5-10 indicate poor sleep quality and greater than 10, a possible sleep disorder. The unhealthy eating indicator was designed according to food processing, unprocessed (fruits, vegetables and legumes, milk, and beans) and ultra-processed (processed meats, sweets, instant noodles, and soft drinks). Unprocessed foods consumed daily and ultra-processed foods consumed never received the lowest score (zero). The highest score (four points) was received by unprocessed foods never, and ultra-processed foods daily. The total score ranged from 0 (best) to 32 points (worst quality). It was subsequently categorized into quartiles, and grouped to dichotomized variable: unhealthy food (2nd to 4th quartile; > 5 points) and healthy (1st quartile; < 4 points). Multiple logistic regression was used to verify the association of sleep quality with dietary consumption pattern.


Of the individuals evaluated, most were female (51.9%), black or brown (67.9%), with minimum high school education (56.5%), and family income below 5 minimum wages (60.4%). The food score ranged from 0 to 24 points, and 76.8% had an unhealthy eating pattern. Regarding sleep, 38.6% had poor quality, and 13.9% sleep disorder. In multivariate analysis, adjusted for sex, age, and income, subjects with poor sleep quality had 1.81 times the chance of having an unhealthy eating pattern (OR=1.81; 95% CI 1.25-2.62), and those with sleep disturbance had 2.28 times the chance of having an unhealthy eating pattern (OR=2.28; 95% CI: 1.27-4.10).


Individuals with poor quality and sleep disorders are more likely to have unhealthy eating during the pandemic of COVID-19. This study demonstrates the importance of investigating the repercussion of the pandemic on sleep and eating habits, and worsening health status of these individuals


Sleep, ultraprocessed food, covid-19.


Área Clínica


Luiz Antônio Alves de Menezes-Júnior, George Luiz Lins Machado Coelho, Amanda Cristina Souza, Adriana Lucia Meireles