A new study that analyzed the lifestyle and socioeconomic status of 422 students with reference to height, weight and waist size has revealed that children who lack sleep tend to be overweight .
The study has been conducted by researchers from University of Laval's faculty of medicine and was based on a telephonic interview with the child's parents. A close measurement of the children's body mass index revealed that 24% of the girls and 20% of the boys were overweight.
Alarmingly, children who slept for less than 10 hours during night had a 3.5 times higher risk of being obese compared to children who enjoyed a sleep duration of 12 hours or more. Between 1960 and 200, there has been a sharp increase in the percentage of young adults who slept for less than 7 hours (16 Vs 37%).
Over the last few decades, sleep deprivation and obesity have assumed the role of public health issues owing to its adverse effects on the health and economy. The prevalence of obesity has infact doubled since 1960. The high competition and the quest to win the race have robbed one to two hours of sleep, on an average.
'It's ironic that part of the solution to obesity might lie in sleep, the most sedentary of all human activities. In the light of this study's results, my best prescription against obesity in children would be to encourage them to move more and to make sure they get enough sleep,' concluded said researcher Angelo Tremblay.