A new study points out that children who sleep less are more tempted by food. Five-year-olds who don’t get enough sleep, meaning at least 11 hours per night, felt the need to eat if they saw their favorite snack. The study was published in the International Journal of Obesity.
Drawing a comparison between children who get enough sleep and those who sleep less than 11 hours a night, those who wouldn’t rest enough had a bigger weight, displaying a more increased body mass index. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends approximately 11 or 12 hours of sleep for children.
A researcher at University College London, and leader of the study, Laura McDonald, explained that either children or adults who don’t sleep enough display a pattern of reward-driven eating. She said that this matter was of increased concern, as the society we live in nowadays has foods with high levels of calories at anyone’s reach. McDonald labeled nowadays’ society as an “obesogenic” environment.
The researcher also pointed out that a child is prone to become obese as a result of sleep deprivation. McDonald also said that the slight restriction to palatable food in the household would decrease the chances of overconsumption.
In the study 1,008 England-based five-year-olds were involved, while researchers surveyed the mothers regarding the children’s eating habits. Moreover, it was revealed that for children who were deprived of sleep – who slept less than 11 hours per night, the food responsiveness ratio was the highest: 2.53 out of 5, whereas those who would sleep 11-12 hours per night, ranked 2.36 on the 1 to 5 scale.
The director of the Insomnia Program at the University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Emerson Wickwire reported that the new study puts another emphasis on the correlation in between sleep deprivation and obesity. Moreover, he stated that
“kids in the study who slept less were more susceptible to unhealthy food cues in the environment.”
Wickwire, sleep specialist, finally pointed out that it’s imperative for parents to take care of their children’s schedule, in making sure the five-year-olds get enough sleep, so that they wouldn’t be exposed to health risk factors.
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