Are Sleep and Hydration Linked to Obesity?

sleep apnea 2The obesity epidemic in American can often seem like a paradox, since the problem of obesity is increasing despite dramatic growth in consumer awareness, fitness, and alternative health. Recent statistics indicate that 17 percent of American children and adolescents are obese, and it’s well known that obesity is a direct route to health complications like diabetes and heart disease. Researchers recently uncovered two obesity correlations that could potentially explain why the American population continues to suffer from obesity.

Preschool Bedtime Connects to Obesity in Teenage Years

It may sound unlikely, but according to new research from The Ohio State University College of Public Health, preschool-aged children who go to sleep by 8 p.m. are less likely to struggle with obesity as teenagers that their peers who go to bed later at night. In fact, according to this study, bedtimes after 9 p.m. double the chances of obesity in later life!

This OSU study used data from 977 children born in 1991 who participated in the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. While 10 percent of children who commonly went to bed before 8 p.m. at the age of 4 ½ ended up obese by the age of 15, a full 23 percent of children who went to bed after 9 p.m. at the age of 4 ½ were described as obese at 15 years old. The difference is startling and undeniable, especially considering that past research has already established those who don’t sleep many hours at night are more likely to become obese.

Dehydration and Obesity

Is water the key to health and fitness? New research has collected data from 10,000 adults, and the results shouldn’t be ignored: those in the study who did not drink much water each day had a 50 percent higher chance of becoming obese than peers who drank more water on a daily basis. Even after adjusting for factors like age, gender, and income, the statistic still held steady. According to Connie Diekman, a director of nutrition, “What it does show is that a diet that includes more water, whether as a beverage or the water found in fruits and vegetables, is likely associated with a healthier weight.”

So get to bed early, fill up your water bottle, and enjoy your health!

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