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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A temporal analysis of Canadian dietary choices using the Canadian Community Health Survey Cycle 2.2 : does nutrient intake and diet quality vary on weekends versus weekdays? Yang, Hui Wen


Since dietary intake varies from day to day, research on the timing of dietary behaviours is essential for understanding the complexity of contemporary dietary patterns needed to inform nutrition-related health policies and recommendations. Limited studies with inconsistent results have suggested that dietary intake differs on weekends versus weekdays. Although findings from outside of Canada have previously reported that energy intake is higher on weekend days, the nature of weekday-weekend variation in dietary intake among Canadians remains unknown. In response, this study evaluated the difference in energy, nutrient intake and diet quality on weekdays versus weekend days in the Canadian population and whether temporal differences were moderated by sex, age or employment status. Data were analyzed from participants aged >1 year, excluding pregnant or breastfeeding women (n=34,402) in the Canadian Community Health Survey Cycle 2.2, a nationally representative survey which included 24-hour dietary recall data. Linear regression models examined the difference in energy intake, nutrient intake and diet quality (assessed using Healthy Eating Index [HEI]) between weekdays (Monday-Thursday) and weekend days (Friday-Sunday). Caloric intake was found to be 62 kcal (SE = 23) higher on weekend days than on weekdays. Compared to weekdays, energy-adjusted weekend intakes of carbohydrates, protein, and the majority of micronutrients were significantly lower, ranging from 2.0% to 6.6% lower, while alcohol and cholesterol intakes were 66% and 10% higher on weekends, respectively. HEI was significantly lower on weekends than on weekdays (56.4 vs. 58.3 out of 100). With the exception of alcohol, the magnitude of weekday-weekend differences of most of the dietary outcomes did not differ substantially by sex, age or employment status. In conclusion, Canadians consume foods with a slightly less favorable nutrient profile and marginally poorer diet quality on weekends than on weekdays.

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