Too Little, Too Much Sleep Ups Belly Fat

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., March 3 (UPI) — African-American and Hispanic U.S. young adults who sleep too little or too much have greater increases than others in belly fat, researchers found.

Compared with people who reported a nightly sleep duration of six to seven hours, those with a self-reported sleep duration of five hours or less per night had an average body mass index increase over a five-year period that was about 4 pounds higher, and greater accumulations of subcutaneous adipose tissue and visceral adipose tissue — belly fat.


Those who reported sleeping eight hours or more had a BMI increase that was 1.75 pounds higher, as well as greater accumulations of belly fat.

Lead author Dr. Kristen G. Hairston of Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., said obtaining a sufficient amount of sleep is important for people of all races and ethnicities. However, ethnic minorities disproportionately report extremes in sleep duration, putting them at risk for negative metabolic outcomes such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.

“Appropriate amounts of sleep are important for maintenance of healthy weight,” Hairston said in a statement. “In a group of African-American and Hispanic participants, those who slept less than this had greater increases in belly fat over a five-year period.”

Data were collected from 332 African-Americans and 775 Hispanics with a mean age of 41.7 years at baseline and an age range from ages 18-81.

The findings are published in the journal Sleep.

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Categorized | Human Health & Wellness
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