Your teenager’s lack of sleep just might be making him fat. That’s the result of a new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics and conducted by Columbia University and the University of North Carolina.
The study found that teenagers who get less than six hours of sleep a nigh are 20% more likely to be obese later in life. The researchers found that, by age 21, those who had 8 hours of sleep during their teen years were significantly less likely to be overweight.
Researchers looked at information for more than 10,000 American kids aged 16. They revisited the information on the same kids when they were 21. 20% of the 16 year olds reported to getting less than six hours of sleep. This group was 20% more likely to be obese at 21 than were their peers who slept for 8 hours a night.
As Shakira Suglia, assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, said, “Lack of sleep in your teenage years can stack the deck against you for obesity later in life.”
“Once you’re an obese adult, it is much harder to lose weight and keep it off. And the longer you are obese, the greater your risk for health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. The message for parents is to make sure their teenagers get more than eight hours a night.”