Yesterday on The PediaBlog, we decided that it would be simpler and more effective to prevent the development of overweight and obesity early in childhood and adolescence rather than be forced to treat it later on. Roni Caryn Rabin found something that might help:
Preschool children who are in bed by 8 p.m. are far less likely to be obese during adolescence than children who stay up late, a study has found. Their risk of teenage obesity is half the risk faced by preschoolers who stay up past 9 p.m
These results appear to go along with other studies which show an association between children not getting enough sleep and the development of obesity:
Among the children who were in bed by 8 p.m., 10 percent were obese as teens, compared to 16 percent of those who went to bed between 8 and 9 and 23 percent of those who went to bed after 9, according to the study, published in The Journal of Pediatrics.
The researchers adjusted for such factors as socioeconomic status, maternal obesity and parenting style and still found that the children who went to bed by 8 p.m. were at less than half the risk of teenage obesity as those who were up past 9,
While lack of enough sleep is only one factor responsible for the rising epidemic of childhood obesity, setting and enforcing early bedtimes makes a good start at solving a big problem — and a better finish to each day.