Lack of Sleep Makes Adolescent Boys Gain Weight :: We Take Sides

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Lack of Sleep Makes Adolescent Boys Gain Weight

by Jess Colon-Polk on May 6, 2010

We all know that crappy diets and a lack of exercise lead to weight gain, but another contributor a lot of us don’t think of is shown to be a factor, specifically for adolescent boys – a lack of
Research presented on May 4 at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Vancouver brought to light the effect of a poor
nights sleep on adolescents.

Although plenty of research has shown that young children and adults with bad sleep habits are at risk for weight gain and obesity. Until now, much attention hasn’t been paid to the effect it has on adolescents.

Researcher Leslie Lytle and colleagues at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute have studied over 700 since 2008 and found out that adolescent boys who got less sleep had more body fat, were likely overweight and had worse
Body Mass Indexes than those who had good sleep habits.

But for girls of the same age, sleep had little effect. Another weird finding — the sleep-weight relationship doesn’t seem to have an effect once the kids hit high school, but seems to reappear in adulthood.

In an interview with NPR, Lytle said, “Teens are supposed to get 8 1/2 to 9 hours of sleep or more a night. Most kids in the study didn’t skimp all that much. They got about eight or 8 1/2 hours.” She also told NPR
that parents should “Create a routine, and make sleep a priority. Parents and
adults need to see sleep as an important health behavior — like brushing teeth.”

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