Obese kids should sleep more to loose weight : study

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London, Feb 8 (UNI) Tired of coaxing your kids to work out for loosing that extra flab ? Here is an easy way out -- ask them to sleep more.

A study published in the journal 'Obesity' shows overweight children can reduce weight by sleeping more, which means more sleep, more weight loss.

The researchers have said with each additional hour of sleep, the risk of a child being overweight or obese drops by nine per cent.

The study recommends that children under age five should sleep for 11 hours or more per day, children age 5 to 10 should sleep for 10 hours or more per day, and children over age 10 should sleep at least 9 hours per day.

''Our analysis of the data shows a clear association between sleep duration and the risk for overweight or obesity in children.

The risk declined with more sleep,'' says senior author Dr Youfa Wang, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The results of the analysis showed that children with the shortest sleep duration had a 92 per cent higher risk of being overweight or obese compared to children with longer sleep duration. For children under age five, shortest sleep duration meant fewer than nine hours of sleep per day.

The association between increased sleep and reduced obesity risk was strongest in boys. The effect of chronic sleep deprivation on the brain's food-seeking circuitry is what seems to be influencing obesity as well as raising the risk of insulin resistance, diabetes and heart disease.

''Desirable sleep behaviour may be an important low cost means for preventing childhood obesity and should be considered in future intervention studies. Our findings may also have important implications in societies where children do not have adequate sleep due to the pressure for academic excellence and where the prevalence of obesity is rising, such as in many East Asian countries, ''the Daily Telegraph quoted Dr Wang as saying.

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