If you don't sleep enough, you'll grow up fat!
Lack of sleep increases the risk of overweight and obesity in children. Johns Hopkins University scientists have found that every additional hour of sleep per day reduces the risk of childhood obesity by 9%.
According to the head of the work, Dr. Youfa Wang, compliance with the children's sleep regime can be an important, practically cost-free measure to prevent childhood obesity. The results obtained are especially important for social groups in which children do not get enough sleep due to high teaching requirements and pressure from parents who want to give their child a good education. This situation, simultaneously with the increase in the incidence of obesity, is observed in many countries of East Asia.
As part of the work, the researchers reviewed 17 published papers on the study of sleep duration and childhood obesity and subjected the results of 11 of them to meta-analysis.
The optimal duration of daily sleep, calculated based on the recommendations of various authors, depends on the age of the child. Children under 5 years of age should sleep at least 11 hours a day, children aged 5-10 years – at least 10 hours a day, and children over 10 years of age – at least 9 hours a day.
According to the results of the analysis, severe lack of sleep (less than 9 hours under the age of 5, less than 8 hours – from 5 to 10 years and less than 7 hours – older than 10 years) increases the risk of obesity by 92%. In addition, the revealed relationship is more typical for boys than for girls.
How do 9% of the probability of obesity for each hour and 92% of the difference between the groups with the longest and shortest sleep duration correlate – try to figure it out for yourself, if you want. Anyway, in an article published in Obesity magazine by Xiaoli Chen, May A. Beydoun and Youfa Wang Is Sleep Duration Associated With Childhood Obesity? A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis is literally written like this:
“First, we found that children with shorter sleep duration had a 58%… higher risk for overweight or obesity, and children with shortest sleep duration had an even higher risk (92%) when compared with children having longer sleep duration. For each hour increase in sleep, the risk of overweight/obesity was reduced on average by 9%…”