Association between food patterns and difficulties in falling asleep among adolescents in Norway — a descriptive Young-Hunt3 study

Beate André, Helena Canhão, Geir A. Espnes, Ana Maria Ferreira Rodrigues, Maria Joao Gregorio, Camilla Nguyen, Rute Sousa, Kjersti Grønning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Adolescents’ sleep duration has decreased over the past century; this is mainly caused by problems with falling asleep. Short sleep duration, poor sleep quality, and later bedtimes, in addition to difficulties in falling asleep, are further associated with adolescents’ increased food intake, poor diet quality, and excess body weight. Obesity has become a major health worldwide problem, with increasing prevalence among several age groups. In addition, higher body mass index is one of the most consistently reported correlates of short sleep duration. The aim of this study was to study if short sleep duration, connected with problems falling asleep, is associated with obesity and weight gain among Norwegian adolescents. Subject and methods: This is a cross-sectional study using data from the Young-HUNT3 cohort study, which comprises the adolescent part of HUNT3. Young-HUNT3 includes data on 8217 participants aged 13 to 20 years old. Cluster analysis were used to categorize patterns of similarities in food consumption. Bivariate analyses were conducted to explore associations between difficulties in falling asleep and unhealthy food patterns. Results: The analyses found statistically significant differences (< 0.001) between adolescents having an unhealthy food pattern, higher BMIs, and more difficulties with falling asleep than adolescents with a healthy food pattern. Conclusion: This study shows that an unhealthy food pattern is associated with shorter sleep duration among Norwegian adolescents. Health promotion educational interventions focusing on disseminating knowledge to parents and adolescents about unhealthy food intake and other risk factors related to insufficient sleep ought to be developed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1373-1378
JournalJournal of Public Health (Germany)
Issue number6
Early online date24 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Adolescents
  • Falling asleep
  • Food patterns
  • Short sleep duration


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