For the study, according to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the researchers reviewed 17 published studies on sleep duration and childhood obesity and they analyzed eleven of them in their meta-analysis. The recommended amount of daily sleep varied between studies analyzed and with children’s age. Some research suggests that children under age five should sleep for eleven hours or more per day, children age five to ten should sleep for ten hours or more per day, and children over age ten should sleep at leastnine hours per day. The Hopkins researchers used these suggestions for their analysis.
The results of the analysis showed that children with the shortest sleep duration had a 92 percent higher risk of being overweight or obese compared to children with longer sleep duration. For children under age five, shortest sleep duration meant less than nine hours of sleep per day. For children ages five to ten it meant less than eight hours of sleep per day and less than seven hours of sleep per day for children over ten. The association between increased sleep and reduced obesity risk was strongly associated with boys, but not in girls.
“Desirable sleep behavior may be an important low cost means for preventing childhood obesity and should be considered in future intervention studies. Our findings may also have important implications in societies where children do not have adequate sleep due to the pressure for academic excellence and where the prevalence of obesity is rising, such as in many East Asian countries, said Youfa Wang, MD, PhD, senior author of the study.
MEDICA.de; Source: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health