The infancy is the time period when a good sleep is thought to be the most health giving activity and if it is not taken properly than it can bring many health problems. A study has shown that the lack of sleep or less sleep in young children especially infants brings a significantly higher risk of becoming obese later in life.
The report of this study has got published in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a JAMA/Archives journal. Obesity has nowadays become a major health problem faced by majority of countries worldwide.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA), at the end of 2009 only Colorado and the District of Columbia had a prevalence of obesity under 20%, while 33 states had a prevalence of at least 25%. Prevalence rates for obesity in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia were at least 30%.
Janice F. Bell, Ph.D., M.P.H., of the University of Washington, Seattle and Frederick J. Zimmerman, Ph.D., of the University of California, Los Angeles, examined 1,930 children up to the age of 13 years, with information collected on the same children in 1997 (baseline) and 2002 (follow-up). The children were further subdivide into younger group and older group, the findings showed that in the older group the night sleep was linked to the increase of obesity.
The conclusion that was provided by the author says that “Sleep duration is a modifiable risk factor with potentially important implications for obesity prevention and treatment. Insufficient nighttime sleep among infants and preschool-aged children appears to be a lasting risk factor for subsequent obesity, while contemporaneous sleep appears to be important to weight status in adolescents. Napping had no effects on the development of obesity and is not a substitute for sufficient nighttime sleep.”