Examination of different definitions of snacking frequency and associations with weight status among U.S. adults
Body Mass Index
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/4476
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Abstract© 2020 Cowan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Snacks, while widely consumed in the United States (U.S.), do not have a standard definition, complicating research to understand associations, if any, with weight status. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the association between snacking frequency and weight status using various snacking definitions that exist in the scientific literature among U.S. adults (NHANES 2013–2016; ≥20y n = 9,711). Four event-based snacking definitions were operationalized including participant-defined snacks, eating events outside of meals, and operationally defined snacks based on absolute thresholds of energy consumed (>50 kcal). Weight status was examined using body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and sagittal abdominal diameter risk. Logistic regression models examined snacking frequency and associations with weight status. Outcomes varied by the definition of a snack employed, but the majority of findings were null. Mean energy from snacks was significantly higher among women with obesity compared to women with normal weight when a snack was defined as any event outside of a typical mealtime (i.e. other than breakfast, lunch, dinner, super, brunch), regardless of whether or not it contributed ≥50 kcal. Further investigation into ingestive behaviors that may influence the relationship between snacking frequency and weight status is needed.
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