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Weight Levels In European Children Linked To Sleep Time, TV Time

October 27, 2011: 12:00 AM EST
A European research project has found that adequate sleep and reduced TV/computer time have a significant effect on children’s weight. Children who slept less than nine  hours a night were twice as likely to be overweight compared to children sleeping 11 hours; children sleeping 9-10 hours were 1.3 times more likely. Children viewing more TV consumed higher-fat and particularly higher-sugar diets, researchers found. The length of time children sleep varies significantly among European countries: children in Estonia average 9-10 hours a night, while children in Belgium average more than 11 hours. Generally, children from Southern and Eastern Europe get less sleep than children in the North. Children who get more exercise, and spend less time in front of the TV or computer are more likely to eat healthily.
Wolfgang Ahrens et al., "Watching Less TV, Being More Active and Sleeping More Is Linked to a Healthy Body Weight in Young Children", News release, presentation, European Nutrition Conference, October 27, 2011, © IDEFICS
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