According to researchers, there is mounting evidence linking cumulative risk, sleep deprivation, and overweight/obesity, but longitudinal studies examining these links during childhood are still relatively scarce. Using a nationally representative sample of families at high sociodemographic risk, this study examined the relationship between cumulative risk and sleep duration and current and future child overweight/obesity. Using data from the Fragile Households and Child Well-Being Study, investigators analyzed the height and weight of children in 3,690 families. From the ages of 3 to 9, a cumulative risk composite was determined for each participant based on 9 indicators of household/environmental, familial, and sociodemographic risk. As reported by parents, child sleep duration was correlated with 3- to 9-year-olds’ body mass index (BMI) percentiles via path analysis. In year 9, shorter sleep duration was associated with higher cumulative risk experienced at age 5 (b=-0.35, P=.01, 95% CI [-0.57,-0.11]). Longer sleep times were related to a lower body mass index (BMI) after 5 years (b=-0.03, P=.03, 95% CI [-0.06,-0.01]). Shorter sleep duration was also linked with an increased cumulative risk after 9 years (b=-0.34, P=.02, 95% CI [-0.57,-0.10]). The results also varied depending on the child’s sex; only boys demonstrated a connection between sleep time and body mass index. Findings partially corroborated expected relationships between childhood BMI, cumulative risk, and sleep duration in a large, predominantly low-socioeconomic-status group. Study group concluded that if low-income families faced fewer risks overall, their children might sleep for longer. Furthermore, early-life male kids’ BMI is concurrently connected to sleep duration.

Source: bmcpediatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12887-022-03587-6