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J Pediatr. 2005 Dec;147(6):830-4.

Sex differences in the association between sleep and body mass index in adolescents.

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Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, IL 60637, USA.



To determine whether an association between short sleep duration and increased body mass index (BMI) exists in a sample of U.S. adolescents.


Public-use dataset of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. Final sample included 4486 adolescents (51% female). Main outcome was BMI transformed into z-scores for age and sex using reference values from the Centers for Disease Control/National Center for Health Statistics. Overweight was defined as > or =95th percentile. Linear and logistic regression models were calculated. Sleep duration was self-reported in hours. A quadratic term for sleep was added to test curvilinear association. Covariates included age, race, parental education, activity and inactivity scores.


Among males, linear regression indicated that sleep duration significantly predicted BMI z-score (Beta = -0.08, 95% CI: -0.12, -0.03). Logistic regression indicated that sleep duration predicted risk of overweight among males (OR = 0.90, 95% CI: 0.82, 1.00). Sleep duration was not a significant predictor among females in either regression model. Quadratic term for sleep was not significant for either sex.


Longer sleep duration was weakly associated with lower BMI and risk of overweight among male adolescents only. This sex-related difference may be due to differences in the physiology of puberty or in sleep characteristics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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