Short sleep may increase risk for adolescent obesity risk, and a new study provides some evidence that “adolescent obesity could be decreased if teenagers got more sleep,”.
“The heaviest would benefit most.”
The study which was published last week in the Journal of Pediatrics, examined the sleep habits of 1,429 ninth graders. Researchers followed the students, gathering data on height and weight, and recording sleep habits on weekdays and weekends for four years.
The conclusion drawn from the long term study was that additional sleep was associated with a reduction in body mass – the more you sleep, the lower your body mass index or B.M.I.; conversely, less sleep can contribute to an increase in B.M.I.
The authors did not collect data on caloric intake, which “may increase with less sleep,” and additional factors such as a reduced physical activity and hormones that regulate energy expenditure could result from less sleep were not taken into account.
Lead author, Jonathan A. Mitchell, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania said, “Our data can’t tell you what will happen with an individual child, but based on our observational study, we predict that increasing the duration of sleep to 10 hours from eight would lead to a 4 percent reduction in obesity among U.S. children.”