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Lack of Sleep Tied to Obesity in Preteens

Not getting enough shuteye can make kids wake up on the wrong side of the bed, with a day that's long on moodiness and short on cooperation and attention. But a new study shows that skimping on ZZZs can affect kids' health in an even more serious way - making it more likely they'll become overweight.

Researchers set out to see if there was a link between sleep - or lack thereof - and putting on too many pounds. So, they looked at 800 kids' sleep patterns - problems and how long they snoozed - as well as their body mass index (BMI, a calculation using height and weight to estimate a person's body fat) over time.

What they found:
* Third-graders who didn't get the recommended amount of nightly sleep, regardless of their BMI, were more likely to be overweight in sixth grade. Indeed, every added hour of sleep in third grade meant a 40% drop in kids' risk of excessive weight gain by sixth grade.
* Sixth-graders who got less than the recommended 9 hours of nightly sleep were more apt to become overweight during that same school year. For every added hour of sleep they got, sixth-graders had a 20% less chance of becoming overweight.
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Categories: Tweens, Children,

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