Abstract and Keywords
Over the past several years, there has been considerable interest in the association between children’s sleep duration and obesity risk. Mounting epidemiological evidence suggests that short sleep is associated with concurrent and prospective risk of obesity during childhood. Studies have further suggested plausible mediators for the sleep–weight association, including hormones and eating and activity behaviors. Despite the convincing data, no pediatric experimental or treatment studies targeted at changing sleep length have been published. Thus, whether short sleep causes weight gain or changes in children’s weight status remains unknown. Beyond sleep duration, there is also evidence for an association between obesity and sleep disordered breathing (SDB) in children with some evidence that weight loss may improve SDB symptoms. The present chapter reviews the extant literature on the association between pediatric sleep duration and obesity risk, the association between pediatric obesity and SDB, and concludes with suggestions for future research.
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