Big Kids: 10 Things Parents Can Do to Fight Childhood Obesity


7

Get Your Zzzs

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found an association between childhood obesity and the number of hours a child sleeps each night -- the fewer hours of sleep each night increases the risk of being overweight or obese. Kids who are 10 years old or older and teens need nine or more hours of sleep every day, but more than 90 percent of teens don't get that much (and 10 percent of teens sleep less than six hours a day). For every additional hour of sleep a child gets, the risk of becoming overweight or obese decreases by 9 percent.

Additionally, a study presented at the 2010 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting found that too little sleep during the week and weekends increased the risk of weight gain in middle-school age boys, while less sleep on weekends negatively affected the weight of middle-school age girls. High schoolers also had a weight gain to sleep duration link but not as strongly as younger teens.