Title

Obesity Among Youth - Is Sleep Deprivation One of the Causes?

Location

Harborside Center East and West

Strand #1

Mental & Physical Health

Relevance

One third of children and adolescents are currently estimated to be overweight or obese. In recent decades, childhood prevalence of overweight and obesity increased worldwide from 4.2% in 1990 to 6.7% in 2010, and this trend is expected to reach 9.1% in 2020. With this huge spike in childhood obesity, prevention is vital to improving childhood morbidity and mortality. One way to prevent obesity is to ensure adequate sleep each night.

Brief Program Description

The recent increase in childhood obesity is a public health crisis since obesity in youth is strongly associated with an increased risk of premature illness and death later in life. Sleep plays a major role in hormonal release, glucose regulation and cardiovascular functions. Children should sleep the recommended amount of 9 to 10 hours per night in order to achieve optimal health.

Summary

Identification of risk factors is critical to preventing childhood obesity. One-hundred-and-fifty million school-aged children and 43 million preschool children are estimated to be overweight or obese worldwide. Obesity in childhood may be caused by psychosocial problems like low self-esteem, and can continue into adulthood where it becomes a cause of major health concerns including cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. Of the many factors that contribute to obesity, recent research studies have shown that sleep deprivation plays a major role in obesity. Other contributing factors like anxiety and depression are also associated with abdominal obesity, elevated blood pressure and metabolic abnormalities, such as abnormal lipid profile and insulin resistance. Furthermore, disordered sleep can cause anxiety disorders in children. Obese children are also at risk of developing sleep apnea and obesity-related hypoventilation syndrome, which are associated with decreased nighttime sleep. In order to achieve optimal health, children should sleep the recommended amount of hours per night. The amount of sleep recommended for children varies throughout childhood. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends at least 10 hours a day of sleep for school-aged children. Preschoolers should sleep for 11-12 hours a day, while teens only need 9 to 10 hours a day. An increased duration of sleep allows adolescents to deal with the high demands of physical, emotional, and sexual development. Recently, studies have shown an inverse relationship between sleep duration and childhood obesity. As children sleep less, childhood obesity seems to increase. This has shown to be a trend over the past few decades.

Evidence

According to data from the National Health Interview Survey in 2009, only 31% of high school students reported getting at least 8 hours of sleep on an average school night. A cross-sectional study published in 2013 linked the amount of sleep per night to body mass index. This study was conducted on children enrolled in fifth grade, aged about ten-years in Catanzaro, Southern Italy. More than one third of the 542 children surveyed were overweight or obese. The average duration of sleep was 9.4 hours, and short-duration sleepers accounted for 38.9% of the total sample. The results showed a 0.77 Kg/m2 increase in BMI for children classified as short compared to normal sleepers. This study confirms that chronic lack of sleep is associated with higher BMI in children around 10 years old. A prospective cohort study conducted in 2014 concluded that chronic sleep curtailment from infancy to school age was associated with higher overall and central adiposity in mid-childhood. Similar associations were observed with those who had higher total and trunk fat mass index and waist and hip circumferences. These findings show a relationship between sleep deprivation and the childhood obesity epidemic.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Samantha B. Koss is a dietetic student at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro with an anticipated graduation year of 2015.

Dr. Padmini Shankar is a Professor of Nutrition and Food Science at Georgia Southern University.

Dr. Ahuja is an Assistant Professor of Obesity and Medical nutrition at Lincoln University, MO.

Keyword Descriptors

Childhood obesity, sleep duration

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

3-3-2015 5:30 PM

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Mar 3rd, 4:00 PM Mar 3rd, 5:30 PM

Obesity Among Youth - Is Sleep Deprivation One of the Causes?

Harborside Center East and West

The recent increase in childhood obesity is a public health crisis since obesity in youth is strongly associated with an increased risk of premature illness and death later in life. Sleep plays a major role in hormonal release, glucose regulation and cardiovascular functions. Children should sleep the recommended amount of 9 to 10 hours per night in order to achieve optimal health.