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Sleep Health. 2015 Sep;1(3):169-176.

Unequal burden of sleep-related obesity among black and white Americans.

Author information

1
Center for Healthful Behavior Change, Department of Population Health, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY.
2
College of Nursing and Health Innovation, College of Health Solutions, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ.
3
Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
4
Center for Minority Health & Health Disparities Research and Education, Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study ascertained whether individuals of the black race/ethnicity are unequally burdened by sleep-related overweight/obesity.

METHODS:

Analysis was based on data obtained from Americans (ages, 18-85 years) in the National Health Interview Survey (1977-2009). Sleep duration was coded as either very short sleep (VSS) (≤5 hours), short sleep (SS) (5-6 hours), or long sleep (>8 hours), referenced to 7-8-hour sleepers. Overweight was defined as body mass index (BMI) ≥25.0 and ≤29.9 kg/m2 and obesity, BMI ≥30 kg/m2, referenced to normal weight (BMI = 18.5-24.9 kg/m2).

RESULTS:

Multivariate-adjusted regression analyses indicated that, among whites, VSS was associated with a 10% increased likelihood of being overweight and 51% increased likelihood of being obese, relative to 7-8-hour sleepers. Short sleep was associated with a 13% increased likelihood of being overweight and 45% increased likelihood of being obese. Long sleep was associated with 21% increased likelihood of being obese. Among blacks, VSS was associated with a 76% increased likelihood of being overweight and 81% increased likelihood of being obese. Short sleep was associated with a 16% increased likelihood of being overweight and 32% increased likelihood of being obese. As for the white stratum, long sleep was associated with a 25% increased likelihood of being obese.

CONCLUSION:

Our investigation demonstrates strong linkages between inadequate sleep and overweight/ obesity among black and white Americans. Although it cannot be said that insufficient sleep causes overweight/obesity, individuals of the black race/ethnicity sleeping ≤5 hours may be unequally burdened by sleep-related overweight/obesity.

KEYWORDS:

Inadequate sleep; Obesity; Race/ethnicity

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