Regular bedtimes stop children from becoming overweight, study finds

Andrew Burton  Getty Images News  Getty Images

Andrew Burton Getty Images News Getty Images

"Parenting is more challenging when resources are limited; in addition to fewer routines and less structure, children living in poverty are more likely to experience the types of parental interactions that can undermine attachment security", Anderson notes.

The research done by Ohio State University says, going to bed at the same time every day may help children to stop becoming overweight. As a result, they're less likely to develop into obese pre-teens. This study helped researchers to understand how daily routine of children like sleep, meals and television could be related to their emotion and behavior. Meal timings, bed time as well as hours spent watching television, all this may affect your child's emotional health and make them susceptible to obesity later in life. By age 3, researchers found that 41 percent had a regular bedtime, 47 percent had a regular mealtime, and 23 percent had a limit of one hour or less of TV or video time per day.

Researchers compared those to parents' reports of two aspects of children's self-regulation at that same age.

Lastly, they investigated how the routines and self-regulation worked together to impact obesity at age 11, defined based on global criteria.

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Researchers analyzed information gathered in the Millennium Cohort Study, a study of nearly 11,000 children born in Britain between 2000-2002.

Emotional regulation was defined as whether or not they became easily frustrated or overexcited.

"This study provides more evidence that routines for preschool-aged children are associated with their healthy development and could reduce the likelihood that these children will be obese", said Anderson. Experts from the Ohio State University, United States believe that a child's routine can determine his/her risk of developing obesity. Obesity risk increased even when children "usually" had a regular bedtime, as opposed to "always". Children with greater emotional dysregulation were more likely to be obese later, the study found. It is the first study to investigate how young children's experience of household routines relate to their self-regulation, and chances of being obese by their late childhood years.

However, cognitive self-regulation - which includes a child's ability to concentrate and focus on a task - was not associated with obesity, they say. "Although there is much that remains unknown about how sleep impacts metabolism, research is increasingly finding connections between obesity and poor sleep", she said.

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