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Insufficient sleep linked to the rise in childhood obesity

According to a study conducted by the researchers at the Bristol University, excessive use of televisions, mobile phones and computers have resulted in lesser hours of sleep// among youngsters.

Dr Shahrad Taheri said, "Children and adolescents are getting fewer hours of sleep than they used to, affecting the levels of hormones that control appetite and energy expenditure. "

The study revealed that kids usually watch TV just before bedtime and that can affect their sleep.

Writing in the Archives of Disease in Childhood from the British Medical Journal, Dr Taheri said, " Removing electronic gadgets from children's bedrooms can be part of a strategy to tackle obesity. Sleep is probably not the only answer to the obesity pandemic, but its effect should be taken seriously, as even small changes in energy balance are beneficial."

Dr Taheri said, " Studies have indicated that sleep loss could disturb the production of hormones that control the desire for calorie-rich foods, hunger and energy expenditure. Lack of sleep also leads to lethargy during the daytime, deterring exercise and contributing to obesity. The link between obesity and sleep deprivation appears to be particularly strong in children and young people. "

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