Kids, Nights, and Weight

Children who don’t get a good night’s sleep might wind up with an overweight body. Researchers saw it in around 1,900 children ranging in ages from birth to 13 years old. The researchers looked at sleep patterns and weight in 1997 and 2002. According to UCLA researcher Frederick Zimmerman, “It was roughly 10 hours of sleep a night. Kids who didn’t get enough sleep by that standard had roughly 80 percent more probability of being obese subsequently.” The researchers say naps during the day don’t offset the effect. They think a lack of nighttime sleep throws off key hormones that affect weight and metabolism. The study in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

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