Later bedtime linked with obesity for children under 6, study finds

A pediatric study found that a later bedtime for young children is linked to childhood obesity. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) – A new study has linked a later bedtime with an increased risk of obesity for children under the age of 6.

Researchers found that children who habitually went to sleep late had a wider waist and higher body mass index (BMI).

The yearlong study focused on 107 children in Sweden. Researchers defined a late bedtime as after 9 p.m.

In a linked commentary on the article, two pediatric endocrinologists suggested that a late bedtime is not the only factor in early childhood obesity.

Other important factors may include excess screen time, inadequate exercise and bad general health habits in the family.

Previous research has found that a shorter sleep duration is linked to an increased risk of obesity in childhood.

Researchers, however, also say a consistent bedtime routine for young children appears to be more important overall than an early bedtime.

The research was published Tuesday in the journal Pediatrics.

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