Shorter sleep duration associated with obesity in children and adolescents

January 01, 0001

Shorter sleep duration associated with obesity in children and adolescents

The aim of this study by researchers from South Australia was to explore sleep duration in young Australians on different types of days across weight classes. Use of time and anthropometric data were collected on 8,866 nights from 3,884 9-18 year old Australians.

Sleep duration varied with weight status when all day types were considered togethe. Obese adolescents slept less than normal and underweight adolescents. The association between weight status and sleep duration showed consistent gradients across weight categories, but only for certain day types (school or non-school days).

The researchers claimed: "These patterns cast light on the direction of causation in the obesity-sleep duration relationship. Findings suggest that short sleep duration contributes to obesity, or that a third unidentified factor has an impact on both."

Yes, the direction of causation is not clear, or it may just be association.

For the full abstract, click here.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health 34(2):165-171, published online 8 Apr 2010
© 2010 Public Health Association of Australia
Day type and the relationship between weight status and sleep duration in children and adolescents. Tim Olds, Sarah Blunden, James Dollman and Carol A. Maher. Correspondence to Carol Maher: [email protected]

Category: T. Endocrine/Metabolic/Nutritional. Keywords: weight, sleep, duration, relationship, children, adolescents, overweight, obese, regression time series analysis, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 7 May 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.