Association between poor sleep quality and emotional eating in US Latinx adults and the mediating role of negative emotions

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center

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Behavioral Medicine | Mental and Social Health | Preventive Medicine | Psychiatry and Psychology | Public Health | Sleep Medicine


INTRODUCTION: Poor sleep quality is associated with negative emotions and may modulate emotional eating (EE). However, this has not been studied among US Latinx adults, a group experiencing sleep disparities.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between sleep quality and EE in Latinx adults and explore the mediating role of negative emotions.

METHODS: This cross-sectional analysis used data from the Latino Health and Well-being Study. Sleep quality was measured with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. EE was measured with the EE subscale of the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire R18-V2 (categorized as no EE, low EE, and high EE). Negative emotions were measured via a composite score that included depression, anxiety, and perceived stress. Poisson regression models with robust variance errors estimated prevalence ratios (PR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Mediation was evaluated with the Karlsson-Holm-Breen method.

RESULTS: More individuals with poor (vs. good) sleep quality experienced high EE (39.1% vs. 17.9%). Individuals with poor (vs. good) sleep quality were more likely to experience high EE vs. no EE (total effect = 1.74; 95% CI = 1.34, 2.26). Controlling for negative emotions, the effect of poor sleep on high EE was reduced to 1.23 (95% CI = 0.92, 1.65), leaving an indirect effect of 1.41 (95% CI = 1.25, 1.60); 62.6% of the effect was explained by negative emotions.

CONCLUSION: Poor sleep quality was associated with high EE in US Latinx adults and negative emotions partially mediated this relationship. Longitudinal studies are needed. Interventions and clinical programs should concomitantly address sleep quality and negative emotions to help prevent dysfunctional eating behaviors.

DOI of Published Version



López-Cepero A, Frisard C, Mabry G, Spruill T, Mattei J, Austin SB, Lemon SC, Rosal MC. Association between poor sleep quality and emotional eating in US Latinx adults and the mediating role of negative emotions. Behav Sleep Med. 2022 Apr 13:1-10. doi: 10.1080/15402002.2022.2060227. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35416102. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Behavioral sleep medicine

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