Which Sleep Parameters Influence Adiposity and Weight Status in Adolescents?

Pavankumar Kamat


August 06, 2021


  • Sleep timing and duration in both boys and girls, as well as sleep quality in girls, were independently associated with a higher risk of adiposity, overweight and obesity in adolescents.

Why this matters

  • Findings suggest that sleep timing and quality components, in addition to duration, may be important modifiable determinants of youth overweight and obesity.

Study design

  • A cross-sectional observational study of 10,619 children (age, 13-15 years) from the UK Millennium Cohort Study (2000-2002).

  • The associations of self-reported sleep characteristics with adiposity (body mass index [BMI] z-score and percentage body fat) and weight status were evaluated.

  • Funding: Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland and others.

Key results

  • Compared with a sleep onset before 10 pm (adjusted OR [aOR]; 95% CI):

    • sleeping after midnight was associated with a higher risk of overweight and obesity in boys (1.76; 1.19-2.60; P=.004); and

    • sleeping between 11 pm and 11:59 pm was associated with a higher risk of overweight and obesity in girls (1.36; 1.17-1.65; P=.002).

  • Compared with sleeping for >9-10 hours, sleeping for ≤8 hours was associated with a higher risk of overweight and obesity in both boys (aOR, 1.80; 95% CI, 1.38-2.35; P<.001) and girls (aOR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.06-1.79; P=.016).

  • A U-shaped association was seen between sleeping for >10 hours and overweight and obesity in girls (aOR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.06-1.62; P=.014).

  • In girls, sleep latencies of 46-60 minutes vs 16-30 minutes were associated with a higher risk of (β-coefficient; 95% CI):

    • adiposity (% body fat: 1.47; 0.57-2.36; P=.001); and

    • overweight and obesity (1.39; 1.05-1.83; P=.020).

  • Often vs never walking in the night was associated with a higher risk of adiposity (β-coefficient; 95% CI):

    • BMI z-score (0.24; 0.08-0.41; P=.004); and

    • % body fat (1.44; 0.44-2.44; P=.005).


  • Observational design.


Collings PJ. Independent associations of sleep timing, duration and quality with adiposity and weight status in a national sample of adolescents: The UK Millennium Cohort Study. J Sleep Res. 2021 Jul 22 [Epub ahead of print]:e13436. doi: 10.1111/jsr.13436. PMID: 34291853.  View full text

This clinical summary originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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