Sleep Loss Linked to Weight Gain in Children
February 22, 2007 -- A new study from Northwestern University has found that children who sleep less are more likely to become overweight than their well-rested peers.
Over a period of five years, families were asked to record their children's bedtime, wake time, and hours slept. The study found that kids who slept an hour less per night were more likely to have a higher body mass index and be overweight at the end of five years. The researchers also noted that the times children went to bed and woke up had an effect on weight for different age groups.
A recent Institute of Medicine report, Preventing Childhood Obesity: Health in the Balance, examines the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity in the United States. The follow-up report, Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up?, looks at the steps taken since the 2005 report. It stresses the need for national leadership and evaluation of efforts under way, to identify the most effective tools against the childhood obesity epidemic.
In addition, Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem highlighted research that indicated sleep loss can have wide-ranging effects on health, including obesity in adults and children.