A lifestyle with erratic eating patterns and habits predisposes youngsters to obesity. Through a two-phase feasibility study among Indian students living in the Delhi area, we longitudinally examined the following: (1) the daily eating-fasting cycles of students (N = 34) in school and college using smartphones as they transition from high school (aged 13–15 years; nIX = 13) to higher secondary school (HSSS; 16–18 years; nXII = 9) to their first year (FY) of college (18–19 years; nFC = 12); and (2) daily activity-rest cycles and light-dark exposure of 31 higher secondary school students (HSSS) using actigraphy. In phase 1, students’ food data were analyzed for temporal details of eating events and observable differences in diet composition, such as an energy-dense diet (fast food (FF)), as confounding factors of circadian health. Overall, the mean eating duration in high school, higher secondary and FY college students ranged from 14.1 to 16.2h. HSSS exhibited the shortest night fasting. Although FY college students exhibited the highest fast food percentage (FF%), a positive correlation between body mass index (BMI) and FF% was observed only among HSSS. Furthermore, the body weight of HSSS was significantly higher, indicating that FF, untimely eating and reduced night fasting were important obesity-associated factors in adolescents. Reduced night fasting duration was also related to shorter sleep in HSSS. Therefore, food data were supplemented with wrist actigraphy, i.e., activity-rest data, in HSSS. Actigraphy externally validated the increased obesogenic consequences of deregulated eating rhythms in HSSS. CamNtech motion watches were used to assess the relationship between disturbed activity cycles of HSSS and other circadian clock-related rhythms, such as sleep. Less than 50% of Indian HSSS slept 6 hours or more per night. Seven of 31 students remained awake throughout the night, during which they had more than 20% of their daily light exposure. Three nonparametric circadian rhythm analysis (NPCRA) variables revealed circadian disruption of activity in HSSS. The present study suggests that inappropriate timing and quality of food and sleep disturbances are important determinants of circadian disruptions in adolescents attending school

Direct Link: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0227002

Journal: Plos one. 2020 Jan 10;15(1):e0227002

Keywords: adolescents, Chronobiology, circadian rhythms, diet, eating, food, NPCRA, school,

Applications: Chronobiology,

CamNtech Reference: M20025

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