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J Paediatr Child Health. 2018 Nov 24. doi: 10.1111/jpc.14308. [Epub ahead of print]

The mediating role of sleep in the relationship between Indigenous status and body mass index in Australian school-aged children.

Author information

1
Department of Rural Nursing and Midwifery, La Trobe Rural Health School, La Trobe University, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.
2
Department of Community and Allied Health, La Trobe Rural Health School, La Trobe University, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.
3
Department of Pharmacy and Applied Science, La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science, La Trobe University, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.
4
Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health, James Cook University, Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia.
5
Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Abstract

AIM:

Associations between sleep duration and obesity and between obesity and chronic illness are established. Current rates of obesity for all Australian people are rising. Recent reports indicate that high body mass index (BMI) is a leading contributor to overall burden of disease for Indigenous Australians. Understanding the factors that contribute to higher rates of obesity in Indigenous people is critical to developing effective interventions for reducing morbidity and premature mortality in this population. To explore the effect of sleep duration on the relationship between Indigenous status and BMI in Australian children.

METHODS:

716 non-Indigenous and 186 Indigenous children aged 5-12 years in the Australian Health Survey 2011-2013. Primary carers were interviewed regarding children's sleep times; BMI was derived from measurement.

RESULTS:

Analysis of covariance revealed that regardless of a number of demographic and socio-economic status markers, sleep duration and Indigenous status were independent predictors of BMI. However when both predictors were considered together, only sleep duration remained predictive of BMI.

CONCLUSIONS:

Sleep duration plays an important mediating role in the relationship between Indigenous status and BMI in this Australian sample. Modification of sleep duration for Indigenous children may lead to longer-term positive health outcomes.

KEYWORDS:

Australian; Indigenous; body mass index; children; obesity; sleep

PMID:
30471159
DOI:
10.1111/jpc.14308

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