Childhood obesity linked to irregular sleep and skipping breakfast

Skipping breakfast and irregular sleep patterns have been identified as key reasons why children may become dangerously overweight in research that sheds new light on the obesity epidemic.

The study, led by academics from University College London, challenges the widely-held view that soaring childhood obesity rates are caused solely by overeating.

Lifestyle factors and the environment a child is brought up in play a significant role in their chances of becoming obese, the researchers found from examining records of the health and circumstances of children born into 19,244 families across the UK between September 2000 and January 2002.

“This study shows that disrupted routines, exemplified by irregular sleeping patterns and skipping breakfast, could influence weight gain through increased appetite and the consumption of energy-dense foods,” said Prof Yvonne Kelly, from UCL’s department of epidemiology and public health, who led the research.

Source - Guardian