Study: Lack of Sleep Causes Childhood Obesity
One Third of Children Overweight, Obese in 2012
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Doctors call childhood obesity an epidemic.
The number of kids who are overweight has doubled in the past 30 years while the number of overweight adolescents has quadrupled.
A recent study in the journal Pediatrics found that a contributing factor is lack of sleep.
“Sleep is important for so many things. Ranging from good growth, helping your immune system, heart health, good behavior and the ability to focus and concentrate and learn well in school,” said Dr. Jennifer Shu, a pediatrician. “Not enough sleep may mean not suppressing the appetite making you want to eat more and taking in more calories and carbohydrates in general.”
That can cause a whole host of health problems.
“Too much eating can eventually cause problems like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Everything’s interrelated. We want everything to be in balance and that includes your nutrition your sleep and your exercise and so we do recommend that kids get the sleep recommended for their age, at least an hour of exercise a day and to eat a healthy diet,” said Dr. Shu.
So how much sleep do children need?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, newborns should be sleeping on average 16-18 hours a day, preschool aged kids 11-12 hours, and school aged children should sleep about 10 hours a night.
Doctors also recommend monitoring what your children are eating.
No amount of sleep can battle the bulge if they are not getting a healthy diet.