Korean J Community Nutr.  2016 Oct;21(5):405-414. 10.5720/kjcn.2016.21.5.405.

Associations between Eating Behavior and the Eating Patterns of Female College Students Across the Menstrual Cycle

  • 1Department of Food & Nutrition, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, Korea. sykim@gnu.ac.kr


The associations between the eating behavior and energy and macronutrient intake from meals and snacks consumed during different times of the day across the menstrual cycle were investigated in 74 healthy female college students.
A 9-day food record was collected during the last 3 days before menstrual onset (phase 1) and the first 3 days after menstrual onset (phase 2) and from the 4th to the 6th day after menstrual onset (phase 3), respectively. Anthropometry was assessed and eating behaviors were measured using the Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ).
External eating was the most prevalent type of eating behavior, followed by restrained eating and emotional eating. Restrained eating was positively associated with energy, carbohydrate and lipid intake at the breakfast and midmorning snack during phase 3. However, emotional eating was also positively related to energy and macronutrient intake at the dinner and after-dinner snack during phase 1 and phase 3, with higher level detected in the phase 1. The association of emotional eating with the snack consumption was highest in phase 1. External eating was positively associated with energy and macronutrient intakes at the dinner and after-dinner snack across the three phases, the highest level being phase 1. In addition, restrained eating was positively associated with the weight, body mass index(BMI), fat mass, waist and hip girth of the subjects.
Eating behaviors varied with regard to meals and snacks consumed during different times of the day across the three menstrual phases. Dinner and afterdinner snack consumption in premenstrual phase could be considered as a time when women are more prone to overconsumption and uncontrolled eating.


eating behavior; emotional eating; eating pattern; menstrual phase

MeSH Terms

Body Weight
Feeding Behavior*
Menstrual Cycle*


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