Is Your Kid Getting Enough Zzzs? Lack of Sleep Linked to Obesity

Lack of sleep may be pushing kids towards unhealthy habits - like skipping breakfast, more screen time & fast food.

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Health News
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Lack of sleep linked to obesity in kids, unhealthy habits.
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Is your child getting enough sleep? Lack of sleep may be pushing kids towards unhealthy habits - like skipping breakfast, more screen time and munching on fast food.

A study was published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, derived from a school-based health survey of 177,091 children aged 8 to 17 years.

The study revealed that less hours of sleep negatively impacted lifestyle factors such as dietary habits (skipping breakfast and high-rate of sweet consumption), physical activity status and sedentary activities.

The parameter followed for classifying the children was the hours of sleep recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine: at least 9 to 12 hours for children and 8-10 hours for adolescents. Those who slept for fewer than 9 hours were believed to be getting insufficient sleep.

Nearly 40 percent children reported getting less sleep.

Interestingly, those who slept well reported higher levels of aerobic fitness.

Co author of the study, Labros Sidossis from Rutgers University in the US, had this to say,

We can speculate that adequate sleep results in higher energy levels during the day. Therefore, children who sleep well are maybe more physically active during the day and hence have higher aerobic capacity.

The study findings are significant. Parents and schools should promote more healthy sleeping patterns. Earlier studies have also linked lack of sleep in teenagers to increased risk of developing mood disorders, especially depression.

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