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Sleep Deprivation Tied to Obesity in Male Teens

Sleeping less than eight hours on weekdays associated with obesity in male, not female teens

MONDAY, Oct. 24 (HealthDay News) -- After adjusting for potential confounders, sleeping less than eight hours on weekdays is associated with obesity in male but not in female teens, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, held from Oct. 22 to 26 in Honolulu.

Lata Casturi, R.P.S.G.T., and Radha Rao, M.D., from Baylor College of Medicine Sleep Center in Houston, examined the effect of sleep on body mass index (BMI) in teens. Data were collected from 255 teens in high school for height, weight, and weekday and weekend quantity of sleep.

The investigators found that the average sleep time on weekdays and weekends was six hours 32 minutes and nine hours 10 minutes, respectively, for males. Females slept an average of six hours 30 minutes and nine hours 22 minutes on weekdays and on the weekends, respectively. Compared to teens who slept for more than seven hours a night, males and females who slept for less than seven hours had an average BMI that was 3.8 and 4.7 percent higher, respectively. After adjusting for potential cofounders, sleep duration of less than eight hours correlated with obesity in male teens, and weekday sleep duration in males correlated negatively with obesity, with the fewest weekday sleep hours correlating with the highest BMI. There was no association between obesity and weekday sleep hours in female teens.

"Males and females experience differential growth rates and hormone secretion during puberty. The sleep factors that impact metabolism may increase weight gain differently in the two sexes," Casturi said in a statement.

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