Food and Behaviour Research

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Associations Between Dietary Patterns and Sleep-Related Impairment in a Cohort of Community Physicians: A Cross-sectional Study

Hamidi MS, Shanafelt TD, Hausel A, Bohman BD, Roberts R, Trockel MT (2019) AJLM 2019 Sep; 

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There is increasing evidence that diet can mitigate fatigue. The objective of this study was to assess the associations between dietary habits and sleep-related impairment (SRI) in a cohort of community physicians.

In this cross-sectional study, we analyzed data from 245 physicians who had completed a wellness survey in March 2016 (98% response rate). Three dietary patterns were derived using principal component analysis: plant based, high protein, and high saturated fat and sugar. In the adjusted analysis, every SD increase in the plant-based dietary pattern score was associated with a 0.71-point decrease (
β = −0.72; SE = 0.32; P = .027; 95% CI = −1.35 to −0.08) in the SRI score, and every SD increase in the high saturated fat and sugar dietary pattern score was associated with a 0.77-point increase (β = 0.77; SE = 0.32; P = .015; 95% CI = 0.15 to 1.39) in the SRI score. There were no associations between high protein diets and SRI scores. Physicians adhering to diets that are high in plant-based foods and low in saturated fat and added sugars had less SRI. Physicians currently face significant barriers to maintaining a healthy diet.

This study highlights the potential role of workplace nutrition on SRI and work performance of physicians.


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