Children and adolescents considered short sleepers are more likely to be obese or overweight, according to Healio.

“Some epidemiologic studies have observed associations of either short or long sleep duration with obesity, and the relationship between duration of sleep and obesity is U-shaped among adults,” Yanhui Wu, of Yinzhou Hospital and the Medical School of Ningbo University in China, and colleagues wrote. “However, the results of longitudinal associations between sleep duration and obesity were conflicting. Meta-analysis might help to resolve this inconsistency.”

In a pooled analysis, Wu and colleagues analyzed data from 50 cohorts participating in 13 studies conducted between 2005 and 2013 measuring the association between sleep duration and obesity in children or adolescents (n = 35,540). Six of the studies were conducted in the United States, two in Europe, two in Australia and three in Canada. All studies assessed sleep duration by questionnaire; multivariable, adjusted ORs were reported in all studies.

Researchers found that short sleep duration was associated with future risk for obesity (OR = 1.71; 95% CI, 1.36-2.14) and persisted after excluding a large sample-size study (OR = 1.72; 95% CI, 1.35-2.18). Studies did not stratify results by sex. In subgroup analyses, researchers found that location, the cutoff for short sleep duration and the definition of obesity and overweight likely contributed to heterogeneity of effect.

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