Sleep factor in childhood obesity

Boston - More sleep can reduce a child’s risk of becoming obese, according to a new study from the University of Michigan.

Researchers found that for every additional hour of sleep for a night for a third-grader, the risk of obesity is reduced by 40 percent by 6th grade.

“Many children aren’t getting enough sleep, and that lack of sleep may not only be making them moody or preventing them from being alert and ready to learn at school, it may also be leading to a higher risk of being overweight,” says study lead author Julie C. Lumeng, M.D., assistant research scientist at the U-M Center for Human Growth and Development.

“This study suggests that an increased risk for overweight is yet another potential consequence of short sleep duration, providing an additional reason to ensure that children are receiving adequate sleep, primarily through enforcing an age-appropriate bed time.”

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