Lack of sleep in children increases their risk of obesity

Children and adolescents with stroke deficiency are more likely to be overweight

A recent English study shows that children who sleep too little regularly are at higher risk of becoming overweight or obese. The results suggest that lack of sleep could be an important risk factor for obesity in children and adolescents. According to the researchers, short sleep is associated with a 58 percent increased risk of being overweight and obese.

Research at the University of Warwick has shown that children and adolescents who sleep less regularly than their peers are more likely to suffer from overweight and obesity over time. This emerges from the results of a meta-analysis in which scientists analyzed the data from 42 studies with over 75,000 participants between the ages of zero and 18 years. The study was recently published in the Oxford Academic Sleep journal.

Heart disease and diabetes are also increasing in children

"Obesity can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes," reports the co-author of the Dr. Michelle Miller in a press release from the University of Warwick. According to the expert, these diseases are also increasing significantly in children. The results of the study suggest that sleep could be an important modifiable risk factor for future obesity, Miller said.

How much sleep do children need?

In the study, the researchers followed the sleep recommendations of the American "National Sleep Foundation". They recommend the following sleeping times per day:

  • baby between four and eleven months: 12 to 15 hours
  • Toddlers between one and two years: eleven to 14 hours
  • Preschool children between three and five years: ten to 13 hours
  • Schoolchildren between six and 13 years: nine to eleven hours
  • teenager between 14 and 17 years: 8 to 10 hours

Short and normal sleepers

For the study, the participants were divided into two groups: short and normal sleepers. The short sleepers included all persons who were below these sleep duration recommendations. Participants were observed over a three year period and changes in BMI were recorded. In all age groups between zero and 18 years, the short sleepers were 58 percent more likely to develop overweight or obesity.

Consistent relationship between sleep and overweight

"The results showed a consistent relationship between sleep deprivation and obesity across all age groups examined," explains Dr. Miller. This confirmed the concept that sleep deprivation is an important risk factor for obesity, which can be detected very early in life.

Obesity has increased worldwide

The authors report that the prevalence of obesity has increased worldwide and that the World Health Organization has now declared obesity a global epidemic. In addition to a healthy diet and sufficient exercise, it may be important for children in particular to sleep well. The researchers suggest educating parents and children about educational programs. (vb)

Author and source information

Video: Why Does a Lack of Sleep Make You Fat? This Morning (May 2021).