Sleep and obesity are linked!

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Children who get too little sleep may increase their risk for obesity.

Read on how sleeping is related to obestiy
Read on how sleeping is related to 

obesity

A 2007 study by Dr. Julie C. Lumeng found that children who get too little sleep may increase their risk for obesity. Dr Lumeng, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan and an expert in childhood obesity, analysed data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development.

What she found was shorter sleep duration in 6th grade was independently associated with a greater likelihood of being overweight in 6th grade. Children who slept less in 3rd grade was also independently associated with being overweight in 6th grade, independent of the child’s weight status in 3rd grade.

The sleep duration and problems were obtained by maternal report, and height and weight were measured, with overweight defined as a BMI of > or = 95th percentile for age and gender.

The researchers took into account other risk factors for obesity, such as the children's body mass index in third grade, and still found the link between less sleep in third grade and obesity in sixth grade.

The study makes you wonder whether family stress plays an important role in the sleeping habits of children that subsequently results in the overweight problems. What do you think?

Dr Dana Elliott Srither MBBS (Singapore), Grad Dip Family Medicine, is a certified Family Physician who believes in the principles of "Get Well" and "Stay Well".

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