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The association of social jetlag and overweight/obesity considering the presence of binge eating: a cross-sectional study with Brazilian young adults


There is increasing evidence that desynchronization of circadian and social clocks-like social jetlag- influences eating behavior and is a risk factor for obesity. However, relationships between circadian misalignment and dimensions of eating behavior and the influence of individual differences in these relations are not well characterized.


To investigate the association between overweight/obesity, social jetlag (SJL), and binge eating behavior in a sample of Brazilian young adults.


This cross-sectional study was performed with 324 participants aged 18-24 years (73.35% female; Mean age=20.84; SD=1.80), mostly white (89.44%) and undergraduate students (88.97%). Body mass index (BMI) was calculated from self-reported body weight and height, and participants were classified into normal and overweight/obese using the World Health Organization-BMI classification. SJL was determined as the difference in hours in the midpoint of sleep between weekday and weekend (cut-off ≥ 2h) assessed by the Munich Chronotype Questionnaire. Binge eating was defined as scores above 18 in the Binge Eating Scale. Logistic regression models were used for multivariate analysis. Gender, age, and socioeconomic status were included in the models as covariates. Interaction between binge eating and SJL were evaluated by an interaction term.


The odds of being overweight or obese was 1.94 times higher among participants with SJL ≥ 2 hours when compared to those with JLS<2 hours (p=.0447; 95%CI: 1.43; 2.97). Likewise, the odds of obesity/overweight among individuals with moderate to severe binge eating was 4.76 times higher when compared to individuals without binge eating (p<.001; 95%CI: 1.99; 11.37). When we evaluated individuals who had moderate to severe binge eating and SJL ≥ 2h, the odds of being overweight/obese was 5.33 times higher when compared with individuals with JLS<2h and without binge eating (p=.018; 95%CI: 1.34; 21.18). All these associations were independent of gender, age, and socioeconomic status.


This analysis suggests that the association of SJL on overweight/obesity could be exacerbated in those with eating behavior predisposed to overeating (like binge eating). Future strategies to treat and prevent overweight and obesity should consider the role of circadian misalignment and eating behavior.


Social Jetlag; Obesity; Binge eating


Área Básica


Patrice de Souza Tavares, Gibson Weydmann, Joseane Ekhardt, Rogério Friedman, Lisiane Bizarro