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Sleep Insufficiency’s Role in Childhood Obesity

Sleep Medicine; ePub 2018 Apr 5; Arora, et al

Sleep insufficiency, as well as other lifestyle factors, likely plays a key role in childhood obesity, a recent study suggests. Researchers used baseline data from 335 schoolchildren aged 7 to 12 years to determine 5 indicators of obesity. Participants wore wrist actigraphy (n=264) for 7 consecutive days/nights to objectively estimate 6 sleep features. Among the findings:

  • Average weekly sleep duration was 7.6±0.7 hours and 42.1% of the participants were overweight/obese.
  • After adjustment, those achieving <8 hours of sleep had an increased body mass index (BMI) z-score, waist circumference, body fat percentage, and fat mass vs those sleeping >8 hours.
  • Sleeping <8 hours was associated with an increased risk of obesity (OR, 3.75).


Arora T, Gad H, Omar OM, et al. The associations among objectively estimated sleep and obesity indicators in elementary schoolchildren. [Published online ahead of print April 5, 2018]. Sleep Medicine. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2018.03.014.