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Study shows link between lack of sleep and obesity in teen boys

There's more evidence today that sleep deprivation can be bad for your health - and your waistline. A Baylor College of Medicine study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians shows a link between sleeping less than eight hours and weight gain in male teens. Medical News Today reports:

[Author Lata Casturi] and colleagues, including coauthor Anita Rao, presently a 10th grader at Dawson High School in Pearland, TX, surveyed 255 teens (108 males and 147 females) in high school to obtain self-reported measures of height and weight (used for BMI calculation) and both weekday and weekend quantity of sleep. Among males, results indicated the average sleep time on weekdays was 6 hours 32 minutes and on weekends 9 hours 10 minutes. Among females, the average weekday sleep time was 6 hours 30 minutes and the average weekend sleep duration was 9 hours 22 minutes. Teen males who slept 7 hours or less on weekdays had an average BMI that was 3.8 percent higher than those who slept more than 7 hours. Likewise, teen females who slept 7 hours or less had a BMI that was 4.7 percent higher than females who got more than 7 hours of sleep per weekday.


Furthermore, after adjusting for potential cofounders, short sleep duration (<8 hours) was associated with obesity in male teens. A negative correlation also was found between weekday sleep duration and obesity in males, with the fewest hours of weekday sleep associated with the highest BMI. There was no evident correlation between obesity and weekday sleep hours in teen females.

The research follows a 2004 Stanford study of more than 1,000 adults that found that sleep loss leads to higher levels of a hormone that triggers appetite, lower levels of a hormone that tells your body it's full and an increased body mass index. And while the current study doesn't establish cause-and-effect, it provides further support for the notion that teens - heck, all of us - should get as much sleep as possible.

Previously: Study shows lack of sleep during adolescence may have “lasting consequences” on the brain, Teens and sleep: A Q&A, Sleep deprivation may increase young adults’ risk of mental distress, obesity, Districts pushing back bells for the sake of teens’ sleep and Lack of sleep may be harmful to a teen’s well-being
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