Sleep influences obesity, overweight in teens
Sleep may be an important factor for obesity and overweight in adolescents, a recent study has found.
Researchers enrolled 1,254 adolescents aged 12–17 years who self-reported their sleep duration and timing, as well as weekday-weekend variations in sleep patterns. Body mass index (BMI) was adopted as the primary measure of adiposity.
Most of the participants reported sleeping 8–9 hours during weeknights, while 357 slept for 9–10 hours. Weeknight sleep durations of 7–8, ≥10, and <7 hours were reported by 247, 164, and 75 adolescents, respectively. Those who slept shorter than 8–9 hours a night had higher BMI and tended to eat more servings of beneficial food.
In the overall population, researchers found an inverse and significant link between weekday sleep duration and overweight/obesity. For instance, sleeping for <7 hours during weeknights nearly doubled the likelihood of being overweight or obese (odds ratio [OR], 1.73, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.00–2.97), relative to those who slept 8–9 hours. Adjusting for potential mediators attenuated this interaction.
In terms of weekend sleep, sleep duration correlated with the risk of being overweight or obese, but only in males (ptrend=0.01). This effect was driven mostly by having ≥10 hours of sleep, which led to a 44-percent drop in the likelihood of being overweight or obese. Adjusting for confounders did not attenuate this association.
The weekday-weekend difference in sleep duration also emerged as an important determinant of overweight or obesity, particularly in females. Females who slept longer during the weekends by ≥2 hours were more than twice as likely to be overweight or obese (OR, 2.31, 95 percent CI, 1.15–4.63).