Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Obese Should Take It Easy

Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Obese Should Take It Easy

Article excerpt

A study by researchers from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the Obesity Research Center has found a clear and significant link between hours of sleep and risk of obesity.

Even after controlling for factors such as depression, physical activity and alcohol consumption, the study found that subjects who slept four hours or less per night were 73% more likely to be obese than those who slept around eight hours.

Lead researcher James Gangwisch says: "The results are somewhat counterintuitive, since people who sleep less are naturally burning more calories. But we think it has more to do with what happens to your body when you deprive it of sleep as opposed to the amount of physical activity that you get."

Previous studies have shown that sleep deprivation can unbalance body chemistry and create an increase in appetite. "The metabolic regulatory system may have evolved to motivate humans to store fat during summer months when the nights are shorter and food is plentiful. …

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