Study Links Reduced Sleep to Childhood Obesity

Posted on June 7, 2014

A new study has linked reduced sleep to childhood obesity. Over 1,000 children were monitored in the study conducted by researchers at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children.

Dr. Elsie Taveras, chief of General Pediatrics at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children, talked to CBS This Morning, about the report. She says children who chronically did not get the recommended amount of sleep in their first seven years had higher body fat accumulation around their abdomen. She recommends 12 hours of sleep for kids 6 months to 2 years of age and 11 hours for kids aged 3 to 4 years. She says kids aged 5 to 7 years need at least 10 hours of sleep. Take a look:

The report was published in the journal Pediatrics. A press release on the report can be found here.

Dr. Taveras says in a statement, "While we need more trials to determine if improving sleep leads to reduced obesity, right now we can recommend that clinicians teach young patients and their parents ways to get a better night's sleep - including setting a consistent bedtime, limiting caffeinated beverages late in the day and cutting out high-tech distractions in the bedroom. All of these help promote good sleep habits, which also may boost alertness for school or work, improve mood and enhance the overall quality of life."

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