Associations between paediatric fatigue and eating behaviours

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In adults, poor sleep quality is associated with increased obesogenic eating behaviours; less is known about this relationship in youth. The objectives of this study were to assess the strength of association between fatigue-related quality of life (QoL) and eating behaviours among youth and to describe the associations in participants with percent body fat (%BF) above and below the 90th percentile for sex and age. Methods: Caregiver-reported measures of fatigue (Pediatric QoL Multidimensional Fatigue Scale) and eating behaviours (Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire) were obtained from participants aged 8–17 years. %BF was measured by iDXA and grouped by sex- and age-specific percentiles. Multiple linear regression adjusting for age, sex and race/ethnicity was used. Results: Of the 352 participants (49% male), 44.6% had %BF >90th percentile. General, sleep/rest and cognitive fatigue QoL was inversely associated with food approach behaviours: food responsiveness, enjoyment of food, emotional overeating and desire to drink. For participants with %BF >90th percentile, higher general fatigue QoL was associated with higher satiety responsiveness (0.13; 95% confidence interval [CI 0.03, 0.24]). For participants with %BF ≤90th percentile, higher general fatigue QoL was associated with less satiety responsiveness (−0.16; 95% CI [−0.31, −0.01]). Conclusion: Less fatigue symptoms were associated with less behaviours associated with food approach among paediatric participants. For participants with %BF >90th percentile, less symptoms of general fatigues corresponded with more satiety. Though causation has yet to be established, youth with elevated %BF should be screened for fatigue symptoms and offered counselling on sleep hygiene or a sleep medicine referral to help mitigate weight gain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-515
Number of pages9
JournalObesity Science and Practice
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this project was provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH; Bethesda, MD), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute/NIH (R01HL110957, awarded to A.S.K.), the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences/NIH (UL1TR000114), and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)/NIH NORC (grant P30 DK050456). We would like to thank the children and adolescents who participated in this study. We would also like to thank Ms Annie Sheldon and Ms Erin Hurley for their excellent coordination of this study and Ms Cameron Naughton for her programme management expertise.


  • Eating behaviours
  • fatigue
  • paediatrics
  • quality of life

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Associations between paediatric fatigue and eating behaviours'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this