Young children who do not get enough sleep are at increased risk of becoming overweight, suggests a longitudinal analysis of sleep in relation to body mass index (BMI) and body fat performed by a research team in New Zealand (Carter PJ et al. BMJ. 2011;342:d2712.).
The investigators measured the height, weight, BMI, and body composition of 244 children between the ages of 3 and 7 years who were taking part in the Family Lifestyle, Activity, Movement, and Eating (FLAME) study in Dunedin, New Zealand. They also measured sleep habits and physical activity levels by accelerometry and dietary intake with a questionnaire at 3, 4, and 5 years. The average length of sleep was 11 hours per day at all 3 ages.
Friedrich MJ. Less Sleep, Extra Weight. JAMA. 2011;306(3):257. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.965