Daily eating frequency in US adults: Associations with low-calorie sweeteners, body mass index, and nutrient intake (NHANES 2007–2016)
Hunt, K. J., St. Peter, J. V., Malek, A. M., Vrana-Diaz, C., . . . Greenberg, D. (2020). Daily eating frequency in US adults: Associations with low-calorie sweeteners, body mass index, and nutrient intake (NHANES 2007–2016). Nutrients, 12(9), 1-16. doi:10.3390/nu12092566
Studies of relationships between eating frequency and/or timing and energy intake have not examined associations with low-calorie sweeteners (LCS). We assessed the frequency of eating behavior related to LCS consumption emphasizing timing, calorie intake, and body mass index (BMI) among United States (US) adults aged ≥19 years. Using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007–2016, we defined eating episodes as food and/or beverage intake within 15 min of one another over the first 24-h dietary recall. We coded items ingested during episodes (n = 136,938) and assessed LCS presence using US Department of Agriculture (USDA) food files. Episode analysis found intakes of foods only (27.4%), beverages only (29.5%), and foods with beverages (43.0%). LCS items were consumed without concurrent calories from other sources in fewer than 2.7% of all episodes. Within participants having normal weight (29.4%), overweight (33.6%) and obese (37.1%) BMIs, LCS consumers (35.2% overall) evidenced: more episodes/day; and fewer: calories, carbohydrates, fats, and protein per episode. Per person, those consuming LCS had lower total calories and higher fiber intake per day. LCS consumption was associated with higher BMI. Number of eating episodes/day and longer hours when eating episodes occurred were also consistently associated with higher BMI. Consuming LCS did not modify these relationships. These results did not show that LCS consumption was associated with increased caloric intake from other dietary sources.