The article discusses the correlation between sleep and obesity in the children. It has been hypothesized that there is a role that sleep plays with weight gain. This is the main reason for the paper. It is important to understand the causes and factors that affect obesity so that strategies can be derived that will help to prevent. Obesity is an issue of concern that has been designed and developed to ensure that the developments in this aspect are known. This will help to reduce the pandemic and come up with ways in which this can be reduced in the future. The article focuses on the argument that short sleep durations is a cause of increased body size. The changes in sleep patterns have been found to affect the hormonal operations in the body and thus will cause weight gain. Studies show that children are the most affected and also on the fact that children who have short durations of sleep will have be seen to be less active when compared to other children. The author also brings into focus the doubts that have been raised about the association between sleep duration and obesity. Also, there is the issue of excessive television watching and depression. There are newer researches which have been brought about that study the sleep timing and the correlation is has on child obesity. There is limited research in this field where research has been undertaken on morning-type individuals and late evening-type individuals. Morning-individuals are those individuals who prefer to wake up early and they are found to be very effective and active during the morning hours of the day.
There are dietary implications and researches which have been undertaken also. Morning-type individuals have been known to consume less foods and drinks which are caffeinated when compared to the evening-type individuals. This is an aspect which has been seen to add to weight because many evening-type adolescents take a lot of drinks and will tend to eat too much. Another disorder is excessive overeating when someone is known to overeat even when they are not in need for food. This habit leads to obesity. The victim does overeat in the sense that they want to have comfort. Childhood overweight and obesity have been a major issue impacting a larger percentage of the population. Sleep is one factor that has been cited by various research studies to impact this emerging trend. In order to identify realistic coping strategies for future prevention and treatment, there is need to investigate how sleep durations correlate with this worrying effect. Past researches have shown that rhythms in the amount of hormones cortisol, ghrelin and lactin are affected by sleep restriction. In certain cases, hormonal imbalance have been cited to slow down body metabolic process and inflate appetite thereby resulting in the gain of weight. In addition it is speculated to impact on food preference toward snacks and carbohydrate intake when hormonal changes are not drastic. Although there are conflicting theories, Reilly and colleagues found that 3 year old British children with short sleep patterns are more likely to be obese with 45% likelihood by the time they are age 7. The research found that late bedtimes and late wakeups is unfavorable to the weight and activity patterns of children. Researchers in this study are testing the effect of early and late bedtimes and wake up times on use of time and weight status in Australian school-aged children. The thesis question is; what are the effects of late bedtimes and late wakeups on the activity and weight status of children.
The study was done by taking 2200 respondents in Australia and also by dividing the respondents in either early-to-bed early to rise, early-bed/late-rise, late-bed/late-rise, late-bed/early-rise. The sleeping patterns of these individuals were undertaken and analyzed to see the effect they had on sleeping and rising patterns. It is important to understand how this is undertaken and the result it has on obesity. From the results, it was found out that most of the respondents fell in the category of early-bed/early rise. They were found to be least obese.
The study involved the monitoring of 2200 randomly selected Australian kids aged 9 and 16 during the ANCNPA exercise in 2007. Using random digit dialing, one kid was chosen from a household and participation was geographically distributed. Weight and socioeconomic status was also taken into consideration while families with non-English dialect were provided with an interpreter. The research used computer-assisted and face to face interviews conducted by knowledgeable research assistants. Demographic data including household income, sex, age of the kid, place of residence and family structure was gathered. The ISAK protocols were employed while measuring weight, height, waist girth and calculation of BMI. The use of MARCA software aided the collection of time data and was administered during the interview and later as a follow up. A list of 250 activities classified under different rubric (Inactive, Transport, Sport and play, School, Self care, Chores and Other) were used to sample activities on a four day period involving 48% of school and 52% of non-school days. Physical activity was recorded on NL-1000 pedometer over a week and an average of the daily steps calculated.
Determination of bedtime and wake time was obtained from the MARCA utilizing the time it was turned off and the time the person woke up respectively. Sleep time included the cumulative sleep times recorded including day time naps. Records of the physical activity were classified as moderate and vigorous with 3 METs AND 6METs respectively. Non-sleep physical activity and screen time values were computed. The results of bedtime, wake-up time and use of time variables were adjusted using regression analysis of the fourth order polynomial for both boys and girls. Finally, the respondents were classified into four groups; Early-bed/Early-rise, Early-bed/LATE-RISE, Last-bed/Early-rise and Late-bed/Late-rise. Weight status category and BMI was determined using the Cole et al criteria and the UK 1990 reference.
Results showed that a third of participants fall in the Early-bed/Early-rise category while 21% and 17% felled in the Early-bed/LATE-RISE and Last-bed/Early-rise. The remaining a third comprised the Late-bed/ Late-rise. Early rises were generally more active. 83 percent of Early-bed/Early-rise meets the recommended MVPA guidelines of greater than 60 min/day while 75% Late-bed/late-rise participants meet the criteria. Those participants that woke up late- Late-bed/ Late-rise group spent more time in the screen watching. BMI values were high in the group with late bedtimes when data was analyzed by considering age and sex subsets. In general, the Late-bed/ Late-rise group are 1.5 times more likely to develop obesity than the Early-bed/Early-rise group. Moreover, they are likely to become twice as much insufficiently active and thrice as much likely to spend more time watching.
It is clear that young people who are classified as Early-bed/ Early-rise experience more discretionary time in the morning which is favorable for physical exercise. The contrary is true. Night time is not ideal for physical activity thus more of sedentary and screen-based activities. Likewise, young people sleeping late accrue more time during the night leading to more MVPA values and this trend does not permit physical exercise which might be attributed to obesity disorders. The results supported the hypothesis and showed that weight and late-bed/ late-rise are positively correlated and vice versa.
In the research, external factors such as cultural values at home and religious beliefs were not factored in. This might significantly affect the results and present a different pattern. The research could better be conducted by considering the cultural activities that are in tandem with the adolescence age group. Religious activities practiced by some communities such as Muslims will impact bed and wake up times. These need to be considered. Longitudinal aspects of the research need to be exploited to get a harmonious result.
It can be said that the research was biased as the sleep factor was measured without considering other factors that could affect obesity. At least the researcher could have considered other factors that affect sleep duration. It should be considered and assessed in the research. The research only focused on sleep patterns and duration.
The research was effective in getting the relationships between sleep and obesity. The future research should take into considerations other factors like irregular eating patterns together with sleeping patterns. Sleep cannot be the only factor that affects obesity. Those who sleep late could eat late and this could be a factor that affects obesity. This is the unanswered question that should be looked into in the study. The study was useful and helpful to the society because of the fact that sleep will now be considered a factor that will be changed for obese children. Children who are still healthy will have a way of controlling their body weight and gain by watching their sleeping patterns.