Lifestyle health behavior correlates of intuitive eating in a population-based sample of men and women

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The aim of this observational study was to examine how lifestyle health behaviors hypothesized to influence attunement to internal cues (breakfast consumption frequency, physical activity, yoga practice, sleep, and recreational screen time) are cross-sectionally related to intuitive eating (IE). Data from 765 men and 1009 women (Mage = 31.1 ± 1.7 years) who participated in Project EAT-IV (Eating and Activity in Teens and Young Adults) were analyzed with sex-stratified linear regression models adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and parent status. Sociodemographic-adjusted mean levels of each health behavior by sex were generated at low (one standard deviation below the mean), average (at the mean), and high (one standard deviation above the mean) levels of IE to facilitate interpretation of regression results. Among women only, more frequent breakfast consumption (p = .02), more time spent practicing yoga (p = .03), more sleep (p = .004), and less recreational screen time (p = .01) were each significantly associated with higher IE after adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics. Compared to women with low IE, women with high IE reported, on average, eating breakfast 0.3 more days a week, practicing 12 more minutes of yoga per week, getting 12 more minutes of sleep per night, and engaging in 18 fewer minutes of recreational screen time per day. Results suggest that these modifiable health behaviors may be valuable targets for interventions to increase IE among women, though longitudinal research is needed to elucidate the temporality of these associations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101644
JournalEating Behaviors
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Data collection for the study was supported by Grant Number R01HL116892 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (PI: Dianne Neumark-Sztainer). The authors' time to conduct and describe the analysis reported within this manuscript was supported by Grant Numbers R35HL139853 and T32HL150452 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (PI: Dianne Neumark-Sztainer), Grant Number T32MH082761 from the National Institute of Mental Health (PI: Scott Crow), and Grant Numbers TL1R002493 and UL1TR002494 from the National Institutes of Health 's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences . The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Mental Health, or the National Institutes of Health. The National Institutes of Health had no role in the study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of the data, writing the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Health behaviors
  • Intuitive eating
  • Physical activity
  • Screen time
  • Sleep
  • Yoga


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