Early Bedtime for Preschoolers Could Cut Obesity Risk

Early Bedtime for Preschoolers Could Cut Obesity Risk

Child Bedtime

Child Bedtime

Obtaining good sleep during the night could minimize weight gain among children in the future. This is according to a new study that was conducted by putting preschoolers in bed by 8:00 pm. This was found to lower their chances of being overweight or obese in later life by half.

‘Obese’ refers to calculations of the one’s Body Mass Index (BMI). It employs use of both weight and height and age to assess amount of body fat. According to the World Health Organization, obesity can lead to solemn health problems related to diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

In Ohio State University, researchers have found out that children who go to bed past 9:00 pm have a double risk of developing obesity later in life. This can be found in The Journal of Pediatrics. The documentation of this program was led by Sarah Anderson who is an associate professor of epidemiology. She always studies the manner in which diseases are transmitted and the most appropriate control measures to avoid spread. She recommends that to make these suggestion practical, parents should take it as their own initiative to create bedtime routine for their children. This is perceived as one of the simplest mandate that a parent can take to minimize their child’s risk of developing obesity.

She further indicates that continuous early bedtime is likely to bring out other desirable effects to the younger generation. Among others are behavioral development, positive social benefits, cognitive development and good control of one’s emotions.

During this research, 977 children participated and data was recorded. The same population also participates in the Study of Early Childcare and Youth Development, which is a larger project. It conducts a follow up on healthy babies who were born in 1991 in 10 United States cities. Their mothers reported their usual weekday bedtime when they were 4 ½ years old. After this, the researchers divided them into three distinct groups. These are:

  • Those who went to bed by 8:00pm or earlier than that
  • Those who went to bed after 8:00pm and before 9:00pm
  • Those who went to bed after 9:00 pm

When they turned 15 years old, researched made an observation on their obesity rates. Of those who had earliest bedtimes, only 10% developed obesity. For those whose bedtimes were between 8:00 pm and 9:00 pm, 16% developed obesity; those whose bedtime was later than 9:00 pm, 23% of them developed obesity.

Furthermore, she made an explanation that putting children in bed early is not a guarantee that they will immediately fall asleep. She, therefore, adds that children need the most adequate amount of time so that they show desirable progress. Contrastingly, there are some pushing factors that can make children get insufficient sleep time, say families with high demands that make parents get home late.

About 17% of children and teenagers in the United States are considered obese. The source of this information is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2014, the World Health Organization reported that the number of overweight babies and young children all over the world had risen from to 44 million in 2012 from 31 million in 1990. Statistics show that if this trend continues, there will be about 70 million obese children by 2025.

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