The researchers reviewed the findings of 42 population studies of infants, children, and adolescents aged 0 to 18. The said studies had a total of 75,499 participants, whose average sleep duration was analyzed using questionnaires, wearable technology, and other methods.
Participants were divided into two: short sleepers and regular sleepers. Short sleepers were those who slept less than the reference category for their age.
The reference category was based on the most recent National Sleep Foundation guidelines in the U.S. which say that:
Researchers monitored the participants for three years. They took note of changes in their body mass index (BMI ) and documented incidences of overweight and/or obesity over time.
The research team revealed that short sleepers regardless of age gained more weight and were 58 percent more likely to grow up overweight or obese.
Dr. Michelle Miller, Reader of Biochemical Medicine, Health Sciences, Warwick Medical School, one of the study's co-authors, said that their findings show that sleep can serve as a modifiable risk factor of future obesity. She added that their findings show that the tendency to become obese be detected very early on in life.
She warned that being overweight can lead to health problems like cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, which she said is on the upswing among children.
Obesity has become so rampant worldwide, the World Health Organization has declared it a global epidemic. This is why the research team is all for the creation and implementation of educational programs that empower parents and children to get the most out of sleep.
How do you help children sleep well at night? Some suggestions:
A child's health is a parent's responsibility. Let us help our children sleep well at night so they will grow up to become healthy adults who can do their best in whatever they choose to do.
Do you know that a lot of modern-day diseases are preventable through proper lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise? You can find more articles on how to prevent these illnesses at Prevention.news.