More on sleep and obesity

I realize I’ve been neglecting older kids lately, what with all the home birth posts…

This post tags on to a previous post about night-owl teens being more prone to obesity. Now a study published in the journal Chest shows that sleeping less than 8 hours a night on weeknights is associated with obesity in adolescent boys, but for some reason not in girls. There’s a chicken and egg element to all this, as usual. The authors speculate that poor sleep may lead to hormonal changes that promote obesity. But obese kids tend to have poorer quality sleep in general–they’re more prone to sleep apnea, for example. So is it the lack of sleep that leads to obesity, or is it being obese that causes teens not to sleep well? Given the boy-girl difference, I suspect its hormonal.

No matter the reason for the sleep-obesity link, this is one more study that shows the importance of adequate sleep for kids.


Filed under Obesity, Sleep

2 responses to “More on sleep and obesity

  1. karen

    I think the reason this may be affecting boys more than girls is that the boys may be playing video games late at night or in the middle of the night. It is not necessarily the lack of sleep but that those boys may be the high users of screen time which is known to be associated with obesity.
    (mother of 2 boys who later told me they used to get up in the night to play video games while I was asleep!)


    • Hi Karen – Sorry to be so late on replying to your comment. That’s a good point. Boys certainly are more video-game-prone, so maybe that’s a factor. Thanks for writing!
      Mark Sloan


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