Eat, sleep, repeat: how can a child’s daily habits help prevent obesity?
Nagging your child about sticking to a normal bedtime routine can feel like a thankless task. However, there are some reasons to make your child healthier: a new study finds that preschoolers are more likely to be overweight as a treatment without regular sleep habits.
“We found that the time was not consistent with an 11-year-old’s risk of obesity, almost twice the amount of time spent in bed,” said epidemiologist Sarah Anderson of Ohio state university.
The new study, based on findings from a group of British children, found that early family habits may influence weight, puberty and later obesity risk. It’s published in the international journal of obesity.
When the child was three years old, the parents accepted a range of habits, including sleep and meal times. Researchers continue to look at children around 16. The purpose of this study is not to determine the causal relationship between sleep habits and weight gain, but rather to link these findings to two other studies.
In 2010, Anderson and her colleague Robert Whitaker published a similar study, including about 8,550 children in the United States. The study, published in pediatrics, found that in addition to normal bedtime, the two habits were also linked to a lower risk of obesity: regular dinners and limited viewing time. The combination of these three habits led to a 40 percent drop in obesity rates.
In other studies, the habit of sitting down to eat as a family has been linked to healthy eating habits and emotional benefits.
Researchers are learning more about how diet and sleep time affect our biology. For example, as we report, researchers have found that eating earlier in the day rather than being late can help reduce weight loss. In addition, sleep deprivation has been shown to be a stage of weight gain and metabolic disease.
So what explains the relationship between sleep and weight? Researchers studying circadian rhythms are working on them.
“Go to bed regularly,” explains Satchidananda Panda, a professor of regulatory biology at the Salkid institute of biology. Continuous exposure to light and darkness to maintain a strong circadian rhythm. If the rhythm is disturbed, the body is abandoned.
He points out that studies have found that shift workers – who work and sleep during the day – are more likely to gain weight.
“In this new study, the increase in obesity in these children may be due to a similar mechanism that causes workers to gain weight,” panda said.
The new study found no link between normal mealtimes and childhood obesity. “We were surprised,” said researcher Sarah Anderson. Given her previous research, she said she thought they would find a connection. She said more follow-up was needed.
Panda says the new study adds to the scientific literature and finds that daily habits can predict chronic diseases. “The important thing is that the correlation starts very small.”