Longer sleep may help teen obesity


Sleeping for longer during adolescence could help to reduce the chances of developing obesity, say the findings of a new American research programme. A study at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia looked at the Body Mass Index (BMI) levels of 14 to 18 year olds and assessed them against sleep durations. It was found that those who slept for up to ten hours a night were less likely to become overweight.

The findings were judged to be particularly relevant for those already in the ‘upper half’ of the BMI distribution.~

BMI is calculated by assessing a person’s weight against their height, and is a generally accepted gauge of whether someone is a healthy weight. Adolescence is a particularly crucial time when it comes to sleep patterns, as the rapidly-changing body requires excessive levels of energy, while hormonal fluctuations have the potential to impact negatively on sleep factors such as bedtimes and wake-up times.

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