Associations between the chronotypes and eating habits of Hong Kong school-aged children

Branda Yee Man Yu, Wing Fai Yeung, Yuan Shan Ho, Fiona Yan Yee Ho, Ka Fai Chung, Regina Lai Tong Lee, Mei Yuk Lam, Shucheng Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Later chronotypes have been found to be associated with unhealthy diets in adolescents and adults, but no study has been conducted in children. The aim of this study was to investigate the associations between the chronotypes and dietary patterns of school-aged children. Children aged 7-11 and their parents were recruited from five mainstream schools in Hong Kong. The parents were told to complete questionnaires on the children’s circadian preferences, food frequency, and dietary behaviors. All of the questionnaires were distributed and collected by schoolteachers. No gender differences in chronotype were observed (all p > 0.05). The evening-type was associated with significantly greater odds of viewing television (TV) during meals (adjusted odds ratios (OR) = 5.62 in boys and 5.39 in girls). Evening-oriented boys were prone to skipping breakfast (adjusted OR = 14.78), whereas evening-oriented girls were at risk of consuming fast food (adjusted OR = 7.74). There are indications of some gender differences in chronotype-related eating patterns. Sleep duration and screen time significantly mediated the associations between later chronotypes and unhealthy eating habits. Individualized dietary recommendations in accordance with circadian preferences may be effective at promoting healthy and nutritious diets for school-aged children.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2583
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Chrono-nutrition
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Dietary habits
  • Eating patterns
  • Eveningness
  • Morningness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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