VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 6 (UPI) — U.S. researchers say less sleep may add up to more pounds for adolescents.
Study leader Leslie Lytle of the Seattle Children’s Research Institute finds inadequate sleep a risk factor for childhood obesity — especially among boys in middle school.
Lytle and colleagues collected data on 723 adolescents with a mean age of 14.7 years that included how long they slept on weeknights and on weekends and how frequently they experienced sleep problems as well as a check on their food and beverage consumption and the monitoring of activity levels using accelerometers. The researchers controlled for other factors including calorie intake, activity level and depressive symptoms.
“Sleep has long been recognized as an important health behavior,” Lytle says in a statement. “We are just beginning to recognize its relationship to overweight and obesity in children and adults alike.”
The findings were presented in Vancouver at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies.
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