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Short sleep leads to excess weight gain in infants

08 Sep 2019

Infants with short sleep at 3 and 8 months of age may gain excess weight at 24 months of age, a recent study has shown.

The study included 1,332 infants (mean gestation age, 40.0±1.3 weeks; 52.5 percent male) whose respective growth information were obtained from child health clinic records. Parent-reported sleep data were collected at 3, 8, 18 and 24 months.

Logistic regression analyses revealed a longitudinal relationship between short sleep and subsequent weight gain. For instance, infants who were reported to have short overall sleep duration at the age of 3 months were significantly more likely to have excess weight-for-length at the age of 24 months (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.56, 95 percent CI, 1.02–2.38). These children were also more predisposed to gain excess weight between 3 and 24 months of age (adjusted OR, 2.61, 1.75–3.91).

Moreover, short night-time sleep at 8 months of age, as measured according to actigraph records, was significantly correlated with higher weight-for-length at 24 months (adjusted OR, 1.51, 1.02–2.23).

The link between short sleep and excess weight-for-length remained even after adjusting for confounders, such as paternal body mass index, television watching habits, consumption of fruits and vegetables, family income, and the amount of outdoor activities.

The findings indicate that there is a need to further emphasize the importance of proper sleep in the context of child development and growth, said researchers. Future studies are needed to deepen the understanding of the relationship between sleep and growth.

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Elvira Manzano, 4 days ago

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