A recently published study uses data from the most comprehensive research in child development. According to the study, a child’s bedtime and their risk for obesity have a very strong connection.
- 23 percent of teenagers who had an after 9 p.m bedtime during their childhood years developed a body mass index pointing to obesity;
- Obesity is currently a health issue which cannot be directly targeted by medicine; its state can only be changed by individuals;
- Obesity during a lifetime will increase the risk for several serious health conditions, including cancer, diabetes, heart diseases, strokes, to name a few;
- Obesity is currently the world’s second biggest cause for premature death.
The research, now regarded as one of the most comprehensive child development studies to date, began in 1991 in the United States.
Researchers gathered data from 977 children who were then of ages between four and five years old.
Among the gathered data, the medical specialists made a note of the weekday bedtime of the study’s young members. Ten years later, when the now-teenagers began their first year of high school, the doctors noted their height and weight in order to establish their body mass index.
The results of the research were divided in three categories, based on the recorded bedtimes.
Children who went to bed before 8 p.m. has BMIs that pointed to obesity 10 percent of the time. For children went to bed between 8 and 9 p.m. the BMIs pointed to obesity 16 percent of the time. Finally, according to their body mass index, 23 percent of the children who went to bed after 9 p.m. developed obesity by the first year of high school.
Connections Between Child Bedtime And Teenage Obesity
Doctors stated that people who slept more in their childhood are statistically healthier individuals. An early childhood bedtime is considered by most specialists a critical component in the development of overall healthy adult behaviors.
Researchers also see increased sleeping time as less time available in the day to get hungry or to eat. Since the obesity cannot be controlled medically, the best way to combat obesity is to avoid it.
The research data will be used in several other studies, doctors have announced. With the connection between bedtime and the risk of obesity already made, further in-depth research can be continued to figure out the neural and chemical processes present in children that can lead to obesity later on.
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