Background

Both overeating and disordered eating are associated with the development of extreme obesity. No study, however, has characterized the timing and duration of eating patterns among persons with clinically severe obesity seeking bariatric surgery.

Methods

N=273 bariatric surgery candidates completed one ASA-24 food recall in the month preceding surgery. We examined the proportion of daily intake consumed after 1900h and 2300h, and the duration of eating across the 24 hours, which were then associated with demographic variables, Eating Inventory (EI); Eating Disorder Examination (EDE); number of objective and subjective binge episodes; Night Eating Questionnaire (NEQ); Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) symptom count, Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test, SF36 Health Survey, Beck Depression Inventory-II, and Impact of Weight on Quality of Life (IWQoL) using Pearson correlations.

Results

Participants (40.1 + 11.0 years old, BMI=45.9 + 6.2 kg/m2; 87% female, 61.5% black, 29.9% white, 8.6% other) consumed 1546.2 kcals/d, with 319.4 kcals (19%) after 2100h, and 26.3 kcal (2.5%) after 2300h. They ate over a duration of 11.3 + 3.8 h/day.Proportion of kcals consumed after 1900h was negatively associated with EI Cognitive Restraint (r=-.14, p=.027), and positively at a subthreshold level with SF36 Role Physical Functioning (r=.12, p=.058) and IWQOL Self-Esteem (r=.11, p=.083). Proportion of kcals consumed after 2300h was associated with IWQOL Self-Esteem (r=.14, p=.024).Duration of eating was positively associated with EDE Eating Concern (r=.14, p=.027) and the NEQ (r=.12, p=.048), and at a subthreshold level with EI Hunger (r=.12, p=.059), YFAS (r=.12, p=.051), and negatively with IWQOL Self Esteem (r=-.11, p=.078).

Conclusions

Timing and duration of eating were associated with several aspects of eating, mood, and quality of life at baseline. These variables will be further used as predictors of change up to two years following surgery.