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Sleep May Play Role in Childhood Obesity
AUGUSTA, GA. (Feb. 18, 2008) – Less sleep can increase a child’s risk of being overweight or obese, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Their analysis of epidemiological studies found that with each additional hour of sleep, the risk of a child being overweight or obese dropped by 9 percent. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 16 percent of American children are overweight, with another 15 percent at risk of becoming overweight.
Sara Brodie, program coordinator for Diabetes Services at University Hospital, said childhood obesity often carries over into adulthood, and those children with high Body Mass Indexes (a BMI-for-age between the 85th and 95th percentiles) are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, which puts them at greater risk for heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke.
The results of the Johns Hopkins study are published in the February 2008 edition Obesity, the journal of The Obesity Society.