Children are more likely to be overweight if they get insufficient sleep.
This is according to research conducted in New Zealand, which monitored 244 children between the ages of three and seven.
The team assessed the sleeping habits and physical activity levels of the children at the ages of three, four and five, while their height, weight and body fat were recorded every six months.
It was revealed that those who had less sleep in their earlier years were at a greater risk of having a high body mass index by the age of seven.
An analysis from Professor Francesco Cappucio and Michelle Miller from the University of Warwick accompanied the study in the British Medical Journal with an analysis in which they noted that future research is needed to "explore and validate new behavioural, non-drug based methods to prolong children's and adults' sleeping time".
They found that even once gender and physical activity levels were factored in, the link between sleep patterns and obesity still stood.
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Obesity treatment news : 7 June 2011