Sleepless nights 'can make you grow up fat'

Children who don't get enough sleep are more likely to become obese when they grow up, scientists say.

Research has found that a lack of sleep prevents the body from producing sufficient quantities of a hormone that suppresses the appetite.

Australian experts looking at young children said those who had problems sleeping were almost twice as likely to be obese young adults as those who had little trouble. Dr Abdullah Al Mamun, of the University of Queensland in Brisbane, studied 2,500 children from birth to 21. Analysis revealed that poor sleep quality when very young was a significant risk factor for obesity in early adulthood, regardless of lifestyle or diet.

Only 13 per cent of those who rarely had irregular sleeping habits at two and four were obese.

But this rose to 23 per cent among those who often had problems sleeping.

According to Dr Mamun's research, the lack of rest means the body secretes less of the appetite suppressant leptin and increaseslevels of the appetite stimulant ghrelin.

Too little sleep may also disrupt the metabolism and change the way the body reacts to insulin, a hormone linked to the speed at which the body puts on fat.

Source - Daily Mail

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