A new study by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine (very good, solid research school/institution btw) reveals how extremes of sleep (both too much and too little) can be hazardous to your health. The findings also indicate that there’s more to “fat” than what we choose to eat, including social factors such as the need to work three jobs in a bad economy, could be causing dangerous fat deposition around organs, the kind of fat more and more research is showing is what is ACTUALLY bad for you.
“We put a lot of stock in diet,” said Kristen G. Hairston, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of endocrinology and metabolism and lead author on the study. “But this study brings up some interesting questions about the way we live. We may need to start looking at other behaviors — besides daily food choices — that could be contributing to the obesity epidemic in younger age groups.” (emphasis mine)
Maybe it’s not food after all…maybe the recent obesity epidemic stems from the average of 6 hours of sleep adults get….i know MANY kids under the age of 10 that go to bed at 10, 11, 12p….and their day starts at 6a, 7a. The study showed a clear association (but remember kids correlation (or in this case association) does not equal causation) between getting 5 hours a sleep a night or less and having visceral fat in patients under 40. Hispanic men and african american woman were the ones most adversely affected.
Short sleep has become more common in the United States and minorities are disproportionately affected, said Hairston, an affiliate of the Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity, part of the School of Medicine. They are also more prone to metabolic conditions, including increased rates of obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. The study suggests that part of the explanation for higher rates of metabolic disease in this population may lie in the association between sleep duration and fat deposition. (emphasis mine)