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Ultraprocessed Food Intake Tied to Chronic Insomnia

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Findings independent of sociodemographics, lifestyle, diet quality, and mental health status

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, June 4, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Consumption of ultraprocessed foods (UPF) is independently tied to chronic insomnia in the general population, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Pauline Duquenne, from Sorbonne Paris Nord University, and colleagues examined the association between UPF intake and chronic insomnia in a large population-based sample. The analysis included 38,570 adults who had completed a sleep questionnaire in 2014 and at least two 24-hour dietary records.

The researchers found that 19.4 percent of participants had symptoms of chronic insomnia, and on average, UPF represented 16 percent of overall dietary intake. UPF consumption was associated with higher odds of chronic insomnia in an adjusted analysis (odds ratio for an absolute 10 percent greater UPF intake in the diet, 1.06), with greater odds seen for men (odds ratio, 1.09) than women (odds ratio, 1.05).

“To our knowledge, this is the first large epidemiological study to report significant independent associations between UPF consumption and chronic insomnia among men and women recruited from the general population,” the authors write. “In the future, prospective epidemiological as well as clinical and experimental research could advance knowledge about causality and mediation pathways.”

One author reported consulting for Nestlé.

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