And now for another ridiculous medical study. Published in the September issue of the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, the researchers found that there may be a link prior to age 5 years when lack of nighttime sleep may be related to subsequent obesity status. The study followed 1,930 U.S. children, ages 1 month to 13 years, who were divided into two groups: younger (ages 1 month to 59 months) and older (ages 5 to 13 years). Data on the children was collected at the start of the study (baseline) in 1997 and again in 2002 and at the follow-up, 33 percent of the younger children and 36 percent of the older children were overweight or obese. Why, you ask, do studies like these bother me? Well, I will tell you. I totally agree that we ALL need more sleep, especially kids. Too many children stay up late and are exhausted the next morning and it effects their learning, etc. In that respect, any study that supports more sleep is great. The problem with this kind of study is that it tries to reduce a major problem in our country (obesity) into one little variable. We all know why the children in this country look like marshmallow people. They exercise too little and eat cheap, empty calories all the time. Unless you can show that the kids in this study are up at night because they stashed Twinkies under their bed then don't bother me with research that is just a media headline grabber and nothing else.
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