Baby Zzzs Linked to Obesity

Also tied to behavioral problems
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2008 7:56 AM CDT

(Newser) – Babies who get less than 12 hours of shut-eye a day double their risk of being overweight by the time they're 3 years old, a new study finds. The risk is even higher for little ones who watch two hours of TV a day, the Daily Telegraph reports. If habits aren't changed, more than 25% of all children are expected to be obese by 2050, experts warn.

"Mounting research suggests that decreased sleep may be more hazardous to health than we imagined," said the lead author of the study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Reduced sleep was also linked in another study to a slurry of behavioral problems, including hyperactivity. "Whenever you have disrupted sleep, it can adversely affect attention, neurocognition, and memory," said a doctor. (Read more sleep deprivation stories.)

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