Obesity in children: New study links child's bedtime with weight gain

WION New Delhi, India Feb 18, 2020, 11.26 PM(IST)

Image for representation. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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Parents should instead focus on maintaining a routine which includes scheduling meals and bedtimes for their kids.

Obesity in children is a cause of concern. Fast food, lack of physical activities, unhealthy eating patterns, insufficient sleep are among some of the major factors for childhood obesity. 

But did you know that bedtime is also linked to obesity?

A recent study claims that the later your child sleeps, the more he or she is at the risk of obesity. 

The later you sleep, chances are that you will likely to be exposed to obesity and it is true for children as well, research has the data to back 
this claim.

Also read: Unilever to stop advertising ice cream for children in bid to tackle obesity

A professor from Sweden's Karolinska Institute conducted a study and sampled 107 children. 

Dr Claude Marcus measured their sleep for seven consecutive days, once a year to find that children who went to sleep late, had a 
wider waist and a higher BMI. 

Sleeping late puts kids at a greater risk of being overweight. This applies to all children below 6.

Also read: Teenagers not getting enough exercise, at risk of obesity and cardiovascular diseases - WHO

What defines late?

The researcher says it is anything beyond 9 pm.

This is not the first time sleep is being linked to weight. Previous studies have linked shorter sleep duration with increased obesity in childhood. 

How can parents prevent this? Should they force their children to sleep early? Experts say no. 

Parents should instead focus on maintaining a routine which includes scheduling meals and bedtimes. The focus should be on a proper sleep cycle and going to bed before 9 pm.