78ºF

More sleep can prevent childhood obesity, study says

Kids aged six through 12 should get nine to 12 hours of sleep each night

Philadelphia, Pa. (Ivanhoe Newswire) --- You’ve probably heard that a good night’s rest is important for kids. But did you know that lack of sleep is associated with up to an 80 percent increased likelihood of childhood obesity? Now scientists have new insights on how less sleep could contribute to reduced activity.

A new study suggests more sleep may be the key to helping kids get active. Researchers studied 37 families with children ages eight to 11 who usually slept around nine and a half hours a night. They had the kids go to sleep at different times and wear special watches to detect movement.

Results showed when the children went to bed an hour and a half later than usual, they spent significantly more time watching TV and less time being physically active during each hour of the day. Over time, scientists suggest this inactivity could contribute to obesity. And research shows 58 percent of middle-school-aged children and 78 percent of high-schoolers get insufficient sleep. The bottom line? Make sure your child is getting enough rest, so they can do their best!

The American Academy of Pediatrics says teens should get between eight and ten hours of sleep each night and kids aged six through 12 should get nine to 12 hours.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Executive Producer; Julie Marks, Field Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor.

Produced by Child Trends News Service in partnership with Ivanhoe Broadcast News and funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation


About the Authors: