Fighting juvenile obesity isn’t only about eating right. It’s also about getting enough sleep.

In a study featured on Science Daily and initially published in the journal Pediatrics researcher Chantelle Hart from Temple University’s Center Obesity Research and Education (CORE) worked with 37 children between ages eight and 11--27 percent of whom were overweight and obese.

For one week, the children slept normal hours. Afterward, they were asked to either sleep more or sleep less and vice-versa.

During the week when the kids were asked to sleep longer, they were found to have consumed 134 less calories in a day and lost half a pound. They also showed lower levels of leptin, a hormone associated with energy intake and triggers hunger and appetite.

“Findings from this study suggest that enhancing school-age children’s sleep at night could have important implications for prevention and treatment of obesity,” says Hart. “Given all of its documented benefits, in many ways, you can’t lose in promoting a good night’s sleep.”

(Photo by chuanjia via Flickr Creative Commons)

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