Poor Sleep Quality Associated With Higher BMI in Children

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Researchers observed a correlation for shorter sleep duration with higher BMI z-score.
Researchers observed a correlation for shorter sleep duration with higher BMI z-score.

HealthDay News — Sleep duration and circadian components of the sleep/wake cycle are linked to obesity-related eating behaviors and childhood body weight, according to a study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Special Conference -- Obesity and Cancer: Mechanisms Underlying Etiology and Outcomes -- held from Jan. 27 to 30 in Austin, Texas.

Bernard Fuemmeler, PhD, MPH, from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, and colleagues examined sleep duration and circadian components of the sleep/wake cycle and their correlation with body mass index (BMI) and eating behaviors in a sample of 92 children.

Children underwent weight and height measurements and completed the eating in the absence of hunger (EAH) task.

The researchers observed a correlation for shorter sleep duration with higher BMI z-score (β = −0.17; P =.03). There were correlations for more fragmented circadian rhythms and increased intradaily variability with a higher BMI z score (β = −1.87; P =.03 and β = 1.46; P =.05).

On the EAH task, later onset of diurnal activity was correlated with greater caloric intake in the absence of hunger (β = −0.001; P =.01).

"Today, many children are not getting enough sleep," Fuemmeler said in a statement. "This, perpetuated over time, can be a risk factor for obesity. Because of the strong links between obesity and many types of cancer, childhood obesity prevention is cancer prevention, in my view."

Reference

Quality of children's sleep may affect eating habits and weight [news release]. Austin, TX; American Association for Cancer Research; January 26, 2018. Accessed February 7, 2018.

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