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Sci Rep. 2015 Nov 5;5:16160. doi: 10.1038/srep16160.

Habitual Sleep Duration and Risk of Childhood Obesity: Systematic Review and Dose-response Meta-analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies.

Ruan H1, Xun P2, Cai W1,3,4, He K2, Tang Q1.

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Department of Clinical Nutrition, Xin Hua Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health-Bloomington, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA.
Shanghai Key Laboratory of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Shanghai, China; Shanghai Institute of Pediatric Research, Shanghai, China.
Department of Pediatric Surgery, Xin Hua Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.


A meta-analysis of cross-sectional studies found that shorter-time sleep was correlated with increased risk of obesity in children. However, findings from prospective cohort studies were inconsistent. PubMed and other data resources were searched through May 2015. Twenty-five eligible studies were identified including 56,584 children and adolescents with an average 3.4-year follow-up. Compared with children having the longest sleep duration (~12.2 hours), kids with the shortest sleep duration (~10.0 hours) were 76% more likely to be overweight/obese (pooled odds ratio [OR]: 1.76; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.39, 2.23); and had relatively larger annual BMI gain (pooled β coefficient: 0.13; 95% CI: 0.01, 0.25 kg/m(2)). With every 1 hour/day increment in sleep duration, the risk of overweight/obesity was reduced by 21% (OR: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.70, 0.89); and the annual BMI gain declined by 0.05 kg/m(2) (β = -0.05; 95% CI: -0.09, -0.01). The observed associations were not appreciably modified by region, baseline age or the length of follow-up. Accumulated literature indicates a modest inverse association between sleep duration and the risk of childhood overweight/obesity. Further research is needed to determine the age and gender specified optimal hours of sleep and ideal sleep pattern with respect to obesity prevention in children.

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