November 29, 2023
Pediatric Research Update | Longitudinal Associations Between Facets of Sleep and Adiposity in Youth
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Each month, the OMA Pediatric Committee reviews a pediatric-focused obesity research update to help keep you up to date about the latest findings. This month’s update addresses sleep and adiposity in youth.
Longitudinal Associations Between Facets of Sleep and Adiposity in Youth
This longitudinal study looks at aspects of Sleep that have been shown to be related to fat mass gain support the position statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), among others, for later school start times especially for adolescents. Read the article here.
This longitudinal study from the NIH studies certain aspects of sleep and its correlation with weight gain. It looked at parameters beyond just sleep duration and correlated it with fat mass gain after one year. Though the article has a small sample size that encompassed a broad age range, it utilized actigraphy (which has been clinically validated against polysomnography), and DEXA to measure fat mass. Facets of Sleep that have been shown in this study to be related to fat mass gain appear to support the position statement of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), among others, for later school start times especially for adolescents.
There have been many review articles and clinical studies that have associated shortened duration of sleep and/ or sleep disruption with weight gain in both children and adults. This article however looked at Facets of Sleep such as variability in duration, bedtime shift, and social jet lag. Covariates were also considered such as depressive symptoms, socioeconomic status, gender, and race. On the one year follow up, body composition was determined by DEXA.
Analysis showed that both waking up earlier and earlier sleep midpoint were both associated with greater one-year fat mass. There was no relationship with other Facets of Sleep, notably duration. The authors hypothesized that this could probably be because previous studies relied on self- (patient or parent) reported sleep timings and not on actigraphy. The findings of this study support data that suggest circadian misalignment in children plays a role increase in fat mass or weight gain. The authors suggested that future studies take into consideration a longer follow-up period, seasonal assessment, and social changes among others.
The study concluded by saying that sleep timing may be a factor that can potentially be modified to prevent fat mass gain in youth.
Find more resources curated by OMA’s Pediatric Committee on our Pediatric Resources page. There you’ll find additional article reviews on various topics related to obesity as well as public resources for clinicians and families.
LeMay-Russell S, Schvey NA, Kelly NR, et al. Longitudinal associations between facets of sleep and adiposity in youth. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2021;29(11):1760-1769. doi:10.1002/oby.23281