Lack of sleep in adolescents may be overweight or obese

“Our study shows that most adolescents don’t get enough sleep, and this is linked to excess weight and weight gain-promoting traits, potentially causing future problems,” he said. Study author Jesús Martínez Gómez, a researcher in training at the Cardiovascular Health and Imaging Laboratory, Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC), Madrid, Spain.

“We are currently investigating whether poor sleep habits are related to excessive screen time, which may explain why older adolescents get even less sleep than younger adults. young people.”

The link between poor sleep and obesity

This study examined the association between sleep duration and health in 1,229 adolescents in a trial of the SI Program for High Schools in Spain. Participants had a mean baseline age of 12 years with an equal number of boys and girls.


Sleep was measured over seven days using a wearable activity tracker three times in each of the participants aged 12, 14 and 16 years old. For Optimal Health, American Academy Sleep Medicine recommends that children 6 to 12 years of age get 9 to 12 hours of sleep each night and 8 to 10 hours for 13 to 18 year olds. To simplify the analysis, the study used 8 hours or more which is optimal. Participants were classified as very short sleepers (less than 7 hours), short sleepers (7 to 8 hours), and optimal sleepers (8 hours or more).

Overweight and obesity were defined by body mass index. The researchers calculated the metabolic syndrome scores continuously, ranging from negative (healthier) to positive (not healthier) values ​​including waist circumference, blood pressure, glucose and lipid levels in blood.

At age 12, only 34% of participants slept at least 8 hours a night, and this dropped to 23% and 19% at 14 and 16 years, respectively. Boys tend to sleep less.

The teens who slept the most also had better quality sleep, meaning they woke less at night and spent a higher percentage of time in bed than those with shorter sleeps. The overweight/obesity rates were 27%, 24%, and 21%, respectively, at the ages of 12, 14 and 16 years old.

Associations between sleep duration, overweight/obesity, and metabolic syndrome scores were analyzed after adjusting for parental education, migration status, moderate to vigorous physical activity, status smoking, energy consumption, city (Madrid or Barcelona) and school.

Compared with optimal sleepers, the likelihood of being overweight/obese was 21% and 72% higher in very short sleepers aged 12 and 14, respectively. Short sleepers were 19% and 29% more likely to be overweight/obese than optimal sleepers at ages 12 and 14, respectively. Similarly, both very short and very short sleepers had higher average metabolic syndrome scores at age 12 and 14 than those with optimal sleep.

Mr. Martínez Gómez said: “The association between inadequate sleep and adverse health was independent of energy intake and physical activity level, suggesting that sleep itself is important. Excess weight overweight and metabolic syndrome have been linked to cardiovascular diseases.schools should teach good sleep habits.Parents can set a good example by having a consistent bedtime and limiting screen time in the evening. Public policies are also needed to address this global health issue.”

Source: Eurekalert

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