Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gadgetry & Caffeine a Dynamic Duo for Sleep Deprivation and, Consequently, Obesity in School-Aged Children

Ever wondered what your children do, when you send them to bed in the evening? According to the results of a study from the Department of Family and Community Health at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, they probably drink Coke and watch TV or play video-games. Does not sound too bad? Well, Calamaro et al. found that children who
drank caffeinated beverages had 15 fewer minutes of sleep per night than did children who did not drink such beverages (b = –0.27, P = .002). Children with three technology items in their bedroom received 45 fewer minutes of sleep than did children without these items in their bedroom (b = –0.75, P = .010).
Still not impressed? What if I told you that these kids missed out on 15 to 60 minutes of what - to my mind - is the most healthiest, most anabolic and most lipolytic time of the day (sleep), and that the study provides evidence for the hypothesis that the immediate consequence of caffeine induced sleep deprivation is obesity? If you do now reconsider whether your 7 year old really needs his own TV-set and whether plain water ain't no viable alternative for Red Bull and Coca Cola, you've already taken the first step to make a change that could - in the years to come - save your children from turning from the "fat guy / girl" in elementary school into the fat and diabetic guy / girl at high school.