Pediatric Highlight

International Journal of Obesity (2006) 30, 1080–1085. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0803291; published online 14 March 2006

Relationship between short sleeping hours and childhood overweight/obesity: results from the 'Québec en Forme' Project

J-P Chaput1, M Brunet1 and A Tremblay1

1Division of Kinesiology, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, Ste-Foy, Québec, Canada

Correspondence: Dr A Tremblay, Division of Kinesiology, PEPS, Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Laval University, Ste-Foy, Québec, Canada G1K 7P4. E-mail: angelo.tremblay@kin.msp.ulaval.ca

Received 29 August 2005; Revised 30 November 2005; Accepted 19 January 2006; Published online 14 March 2006.

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Abstract

Objective:

 

To assess the relationship between short sleep duration and obesity-related variables in children involved in the 'Québec en Forme' Project.

Design:

 

Cross-sectional study.

Subjects:

 

A total of 422 children (211 boys and 211 girls) aged between 5 and 10 years from primary schools in the City of Trois-Rivières (Québec) were selected to participate in this study.

Measurements:

 

Body weight, height and waist circumference were measured. The children were classified as normal, underweight, overweight or obese, according to body mass index (BMI) per age. An exhaustive questionnaire was administered by telephone to the parents of children.

Results:

 

The percentage of overweight/obesity was 20.0% in boys and 24.0% in girls. When compared to children reporting 12–13 h of sleep per day, the adjusted odds ratio for childhood overweight/obesity was 1.42 (95% confidence interval 1.09–1.98) for those with 10.5–11.5 h of sleep and 3.45 (2.61–4.67) for those with 8–10 h of sleep after adjustment for age, sex, and other risk factors. Parental obesity, low parental educational level, low total family income, long hours of TV watching, playing videogames or computer utilization, absence of breastfeeding and physical inactivity were also significantly associated with childhood overweight/obesity. In addition, we observed a significant negative association adjusted for age between sleep duration and body weight (-0.33, P<0.01), BMI (-0.12, P<0.01) and waist circumference (-0.24, P<0.01) in boys.

Conclusion:

 

An inverse association was observed between sleep duration and the risk to develop childhood overweight/obesity. Longitudinal research will be required to confirm a potential link of causality between these variables.

Keywords:

body mass index, body weight, waist circumference, primary prevention, physical activity

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