Lack of Sleep May Lead to Excess Weight

Study Finds Link Between Hours of Sleep and Risk of Obesity



Nov 16, 2004, 00:00 ET from North American Association for the Study of Obesity from ,American Diabetes

    LAS VEGAS, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The less you sleep, the more likely you
 are to become obese, according to a study being presented at the North
 American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO)'s Annual Scientific
 Meeting held November 14-18.
     The study, by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of
 Public Health and the Obesity Research Center, demonstrated a clear link
 between the risk of being obese and the number of hours of sleep each night,
 even after controlling for depression, physical activity, alcohol consumption,
 ethnicity, level of education, age, and gender.  The study was an analysis of
 data taken from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey I (NHANES
 I).
     Specifically, the study found that subjects between the ages of 32 and 59
 who slept four hours or less per night were 73 percent more likely to be obese
 than those who slept between seven and nine hours each night.  People who got
 only five hours of sleep had a 50 percent higher risk than those who were
 getting a full night's rest.  Those who got six hours of sleep were just 23
 percent more likely to be substantially overweight.
     "The results are somewhat counterintuitive, since people who sleep less
 are naturally burning more calories," said lead researcher James Gangwisch, a
 post-doctoral fellow in psychiatric epidemiology at Columbia University.  "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.  Other
 studies have shown that leptin levels decrease and grehlin levels increase in
 people who are sleep-deprived, leading to increased appetite and consumption."
     Why would that happen?  According to Gangwisch, one possible answer can be
 found in looking back at our early forebears.  "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, which was a survival
 mechanism for the body to prepare for the dark winter months when food would
 not be as plentiful," said Gangwisch.  "As a result, sleeping less could serve
 as a trigger to the body to increase food intake and store fat."
     The study was presented as part of a joint effort by NAASO and the
 American Diabetes Association (ADA) to increase awareness of the rising
 problem of obesity and its related health problems in the United States.
 NAASO and ADA recognize obesity as a significant threat to public health and
 are cooperating to provide further opportunities for sharing obesity
 information, increasing obesity awareness and facilitating more research and
 better clinical care in their joint effort to fight this disease.
     According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), deaths
 due to obesity -- as it relates to poor diet and physical inactivity -- may
 soon overtake tobacco as the leading preventable cause of death.  Obesity can
 significantly increase a person's risk for a number of serious conditions,
 including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and some
 types of cancer.
 
     The North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) is a
 leading scientific society dedicated to the study of obesity.  NAASO is
 committed to encouraging research on the causes, treatment and prevention of
 obesity as well as to keeping the scientific community and public informed of
 new advances in the field.  For more information about NAASO and obesity,
 visit http://www.naaso.org or call (301) 563-6526.
 
     The American Diabetes Association is the nation's leading voluntary health
 organization supporting diabetes research, information, and advocacy.  Founded
 in 1940, the Association has offices in every region of the country, providing
 services to hundreds of communities.  For more information about the
 Association and diabetes, please visit http://www.diabetes.org or call
 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383).
 
 

SOURCE North American Association for the Study of Obesity; American Diabetes
    LAS VEGAS, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The less you sleep, the more likely you
 are to become obese, according to a study being presented at the North
 American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO)'s Annual Scientific
 Meeting held November 14-18.
     The study, by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of
 Public Health and the Obesity Research Center, demonstrated a clear link
 between the risk of being obese and the number of hours of sleep each night,
 even after controlling for depression, physical activity, alcohol consumption,
 ethnicity, level of education, age, and gender.  The study was an analysis of
 data taken from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey I (NHANES
 I).
     Specifically, the study found that subjects between the ages of 32 and 59
 who slept four hours or less per night were 73 percent more likely to be obese
 than those who slept between seven and nine hours each night.  People who got
 only five hours of sleep had a 50 percent higher risk than those who were
 getting a full night's rest.  Those who got six hours of sleep were just 23
 percent more likely to be substantially overweight.
     "The results are somewhat counterintuitive, since people who sleep less
 are naturally burning more calories," said lead researcher James Gangwisch, a
 post-doctoral fellow in psychiatric epidemiology at Columbia University.  "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.  Other
 studies have shown that leptin levels decrease and grehlin levels increase in
 people who are sleep-deprived, leading to increased appetite and consumption."
     Why would that happen?  According to Gangwisch, one possible answer can be
 found in looking back at our early forebears.  "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, which was a survival
 mechanism for the body to prepare for the dark winter months when food would
 not be as plentiful," said Gangwisch.  "As a result, sleeping less could serve
 as a trigger to the body to increase food intake and store fat."
     The study was presented as part of a joint effort by NAASO and the
 American Diabetes Association (ADA) to increase awareness of the rising
 problem of obesity and its related health problems in the United States.
 NAASO and ADA recognize obesity as a significant threat to public health and
 are cooperating to provide further opportunities for sharing obesity
 information, increasing obesity awareness and facilitating more research and
 better clinical care in their joint effort to fight this disease.
     According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), deaths
 due to obesity -- as it relates to poor diet and physical inactivity -- may
 soon overtake tobacco as the leading preventable cause of death.  Obesity can
 significantly increase a person's risk for a number of serious conditions,
 including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and some
 types of cancer.
 
     The North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) is a
 leading scientific society dedicated to the study of obesity.  NAASO is
 committed to encouraging research on the causes, treatment and prevention of
 obesity as well as to keeping the scientific community and public informed of
 new advances in the field.  For more information about NAASO and obesity,
 visit http://www.naaso.org or call (301) 563-6526.
 
     The American Diabetes Association is the nation's leading voluntary health
 organization supporting diabetes research, information, and advocacy.  Founded
 in 1940, the Association has offices in every region of the country, providing
 services to hundreds of communities.  For more information about the
 Association and diabetes, please visit http://www.diabetes.org or call
 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383).
 
 SOURCE  North American Association for the Study of Obesity; American Diabetes