Teen, Sleep and Weight Gain
Over 700 adolescents participated in a recent study which found that sleeping less was linked to a high body mass index (BMI). The teens were all given an accelerometer to measure their movement and they had to report on their daily sleep habits and calorie consumption.
The study which was presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Vancouver reported that boys who slept less on weekdays and weekends demonstrated a relationship between their BMI and sleep duration. Getting less sleep on weekends only was associated with higher BMI in girls. The study found that lack of sleep has varying effect on BMI by age group. For example, middle schoolers demonstrated a strong relationship between high BMI and lack of sleep – but not high schoolers.
Researcher Leslie Lytle, from the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, said that "Sleep has long been recognized as an important health behavior." The average age of the participants was 15 years old.