Monday, November 3, 2008

Child's sleep linked to adulthood obesity risk

Child's sleep linked to adulthood obesity risk - Yahoo! News:
"Consistently getting a good night's sleep may help protect children from becoming obese as adults... those who got too little sleep as children were more likely than their well-rested counterparts to become obese adults... early sleep habits have a direct effect on weight in the long term...A number of studies have found that sleep-deprived adults and children are at greater risk of being overweight. However, this is the first study to show a long-term relationship between sleep and obesity risk...The study involved 1,037 men and women who had been followed since their birth, between 1972 and 1973, up to the age of 32. When the participants were 5, 7, 9 and 11 years old, their parents reported on their usual bed time and wake-up time...In general, Hancox and his colleagues found, as childhood sleep time declined, adulthood body mass index, or BMI, climbed...Experts generally recommend that children between the ages of 5 and 12 sleep for about 11 hours each night, while teenagers should get 8.5 to 9.5 hours...One theory, based on research in the sleep lab, is that sleep deprivation alters the normal balance of appetite-stimulating and appetite-suppressing hormones. Sleepy children may also be too tired for physical activity during the day..."

This is important, on the level of prenatal diets changing genes. Alas it comes at a time when it will get negligible attention.

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