If you do not get enough sleep, you are at
risk of getting fatter! In fact, you will have doubled your risk of
These are the early findings of a study by researchers at the
University of Warwick led by Professor Francesco Cappuccio and
presented at the International AC21 Research Festival hosted by the
University of Warwick this month.
Concerns over obesity have long been widespread in the USA, but
now the World Health Organisation is looking at increases in Europe
too, and is developing a charter to organise immediate action to
curb obesity in the region, where they believe up to two thirds of
the population are at risk.
By studying current evidence in over 28,000 children and 15,000
adults, Professor Cappuccio discovered that sleeping less than 5
hours a night is associated with almost a twofold increase in the
risk of obesity, greater increase in body mass index and waist
circumference over time.
An increase in appetite may be caused by changes in hormone
levels through a lack of sleep. Some of the effects of two hormones
in particular have been implicated. Sleep deprivation helps create
more Ghrelin, which stimulates appetite and also reduces the
production of Leptin which can suppress appetite.
Professor Cappuccio wants to explore the area further, and look
at how short sleep may be linked to other conditions like diabetes
and hypertension, as well as obesity which, according to the WHO,
now affects one in three children in Europe alone.
- Alarm clock & light
- Lifestyle fitness / weight images
- Body mass index measured
- Exts University of Warwick
- WHO Obesity lecture in progress
- Professor Cappuccio, Warwick Medical School
- Professor Branca, WHO Regional office for Europe