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Obes Facts. 2013;6(3):239-46. doi: 10.1159/000351819. Epub 2013 May 28.

Longer weekly sleep duration predicts greater 3-month BMI reduction among obese adolescents attending a clinical multidisciplinary weight management program.

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Pediatric Comprehensive Weight Management Center, Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, Division of Child Behavioral Health, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.



To determine whether baseline levels of self-reported sleep and sleep problems among obese adolescents referred to an outpatient multidisciplinary family-based weight management program predict reduction in BMI 3 months later.


A retrospective medical chart review was conducted for 83 obese adolescents. The following baseline variables were extracted: self-reported sleep duration (weekdays and weekends), and presence of snoring, daytime fatigue, suspected sleep apnea, and physician-diagnosed sleep apnea. Anthropometric data at baseline and 3 months were also collected.


On average, adolescents reported significantly less sleeping on weeknights (7.7 ± 1.3 h) compared to weekend nights (10.0 ± 1.8 h), t(82) = 10.5, p = 0.0001. Reduction in BMI after 3 months of treatment was predicted by more weekly sleep at baseline (R² = 0.113, F(1, 80) = 10.2, p = 0.002). Adolescents who reduced their BMI by ≥1 kg/m² reported greater weekly sleep at baseline compared to adolescents who experienced <1 kg/m² reduction (60.7 ± 7.5 h vs. 56.4 ± 8.6 h; F(1, 80) = 5.7, p = 0.02).


Findings from this study, though correlational, raise the possibility that increased duration of sleep may be associated with weight loss among obese adolescents enrolled in a weight management program. Evidence-based behavioral techniques to improve sleep hygiene and increase sleep duration should be explored in pediatric weight management settings.

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