An upcoming article (Journal of Pediatrics, (DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2016.06.005)shows an association between bedtime and the development of obesity:
To determine whether preschool-aged children with earlier bedtimes have a lower risk for adolescent obesity and whether this risk reduction is modified by maternal sensitivity.
Data from 977 of 1364 participants in the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development were analyzed. Healthy singleton-births at 10 US sites in 1991 were eligible for enrollment. In 1995-1996, mothers reported their preschool-aged (mean = 4.7 years) child’s typical weekday bedtime, and mother-child interaction was observed to assess maternal sensitivity. At a mean age of 15 years, height and weight were measured and adolescent obesity defined as a sex-specific body-mass-index-for-age ≥95th percentile of the US reference.
One-quarter of preschool-aged children had early bedtimes (8:00 p.m. or earlier), one-half had bedtimes after 8:00 p.m. but by 9:00 p.m., and one-quarter had late bedtimes (after 9:00 p.m.). Children’s bedtimes were similar regardless of maternal sensitivity (P = .2). The prevalence of adolescent obesity was 10%, 16%, and 23%, respectively, across early to late bedtime groups. The multivariable-adjusted relative risk (95% CI) for adolescent obesity was 0.48 (0.29, 0.82) for preschoolers with early bedtimes compared with preschoolers with late bedtimes. This risk was not modified by maternal sensitivity (P = .99).
Preschool-aged children with early weekday bedtimes were one-half as likely as children with late bedtimes to be obese as adolescents. Bedtimes are a modifiable routine that may help to prevent obesity.
My take: Another potential reason to heed Samuel Jackson’s advice: Go the F- to Sleep (early)
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