Ohio State University is proving what many of us know already – but what we may not be following for various reasons. Children who have both consistent bedtimes and limited screen time have a lower risk for obesity.

As the lead author Sarah Anderson explained,

“Both lack of a regular bedtime and poor emotion regulation increased risk for later obesity.These two factors were independent of each other; the link between bedtimes and obesity could not be explained away by a child’s inability to regulate their emotions.”

Anderson’s team looked at the date for 10,955 young people born in the UK from 2000-2002. They looked at how they were being raised at three and then at their height and weight at 11. By age 11, 6% of the children in the study were obese. Inconsistent bedtimes as young children resulted in an 87% greater chance of being obese by 11.

Not surprisingly, people who had regular bedtimes for their kids tended to also have regular meal times. Interestingly, the children who had mealtimes at the age of three were less likely to be obese than were those who didn’t have regular and consistent meals.

The research was published in the International Journal of Obesity.