Maintaining a seamless routine when it comes to bedtime and meals for your child is a habit that will save him/her from becoming obese as a new study has linked late bedtime to increased obesity risk in children.
As a part of a broader study on obesity, the research focused on 107 children in Sweden, with 64 of them having a parent who classified as overweight or obese. Each child’s weight, height and waist circumference from ages one to six, were monitored and their sleep was measured for seven consecutive days once a year for the length of the study. The study revealed that those who went to sleep late had a higher body mass index compared to the rest.
“This late bedtime was one factor that really stood out. It was associated with increased weight,” said Dr. Claude Marcus, a professor of pediatrics at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and an author of the study.
Staying up beyond 9 pm could be one sign of an overall lifestyle that puts kids at greater risk of being overweight, as opposed to their weight gain being directly connected to their bedtime as suggested by Dr. Claude, although bedtimes for most Kids around the world vary. A linked commentary to the research also revealed the possibility that obesity and inadequate sleep might be due to other influences, such as “excess screen time, inadequate exercise, or less vigilance overall about health habits on the part of the family.
Although previous research has found that shorter sleep duration leads to increased risk of obesity in childhood, this particular research proved that no matter how long a child slept, going to bed after 9 p.m. could increase obesity and a child’s Basal Metabolic Rate. Parents have been encouraged to pay more attention to the time their children sleep to help them not become obese.