Chronic lack of sleep and sleep-related breathing problems increase the risk of a child becoming obese by the age of 15, according to research conducted at Yeshiva University. The study, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, surveyed data on 2,000 kids obtained by questioning their parents on their sleep habits over a period of 6.75 years.
Kids with the worst cases of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) had the greatest obesity risks and were twice as likely to become obese than those without SDB. Kids with the shortest sleep time at ages 5-6 were 60 percent to 100 percent more likely to be obese by the age of 15.
"When you don't get enough sleep it interferes with the production of hormones that are associated with weight and appetite," lead author Karen Bonuck told CBS.
"Sometimes kids stay up late and they'll actually be eating at the time. It has to do with inflammation and insulin resistance."