Relationship of Sleep Duration and Regularity with Dietary Intake Among Preschool-Aged Children with Obesity from Low-Income Families

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Abstract

Objective:

Diet is a modifiable factor associated with pediatric obesity outcomes, but few studies have evaluated the relationships of sleep duration and regularity on dietary intake of young preschool-aged children. The goal of this study was to evaluate whether short sleep duration and irregular sleep timing were associated with greater calorie, carbohydrate and fat consumption among young children with obesity from low-income families.

Methods:

Fifty-one ethnically diverse children aged 2 to 4 years were recruited from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children clinics in a southeast Texas county. Sleep behaviors were parent reported using the Child Sleep Assessment tool. Dietary intake data were obtained by 24-hour recall interviews (2 weekdays and 1 weekend day).

Results:

Short sleep duration (<11 hr) was highly prevalent among this cohort of preschool-aged children. Short sleep duration was associated with greater fat and decreased carbohydrate consumption. Children with greater variability in sleep duration and timing had greater energy intake from fat and protein sources.

Conclusion:

Allowing for the opportunity to educate parents on the importance of maintaining regular, adequate sleep and relationships between sleep and dietary intake may decrease the risk of childhood obesity in this high-risk pediatric population.

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