Research led by Leslie A. Lytle, PhD, from the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children's Research Institute, found that inadequate sleep amongst adolescents was related to childhood obesity. This study is one of the first studies to document an association between sleep duration and weight in adolescents, even after controlling for calorie intake, activity level and depressive symptoms.
The study collected data on 723 adolescents (mean age of 14.7 years) and asked them about how long they slept on weeknights and weekends, and how often they experienced sleep problems. To monitor physical activity, participants wore accelerometers on their belts for a week. Researchers also measured participants' weight, BMI and percentage of body fat. Results showed that shorter sleep duration was related to higher BMI. The relationship was especially strong for boys and for middle school students compared to those in high school. In girls, only less sleep on weekends was related to higher BMI.
This study provides one MORE reason to make sure your kid is getting enough sleep.