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Give Your Child Enough Sleep Or They Might Be At Risk Of Being Obese - Study

James KE

Feb. 18, 2020

A new study has linked a later bedtime with an increased risk of obesity for kids ,although the researchers say parents shouldn’t rush to put their preschoolers to sleep earlier as a result.
Instead, concerned moms and dads should focus on maintaining a regular routine when it comes to scheduling meal and bed times, said Dr. Claude Marcus, a professor of pediatrics at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and an author of the study, which published Tuesday in the journal Pediatrics.
The research, which was part of a wider study on obesity, focused on 107 children in Sweden, with 64 of the children having a parent who classified as overweight or obese.
The researchers monitored each child’s weight, height and waist circumference from ages one to six; all of the children had similar measurements when the study started. Sleep was measured for seven consecutive days once a year for the length of the study by using a tracker worn on the child’s wrist.
They found that children who habitually went to sleep late — defined by the researchers as past 9 p.m. — had a wider waist and higher BMI (body mass index) by the end of the study.
“This late bedtime was one factor that really stood out. It was associated with increased weight,” said Marcus. “However, what we can see is [only] an association. If you put your kids to bed earlier, would it change anything? That’s something we don’t know.”
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