(HealthDay News) – Increased duration of sleep is associated with lower food intake and lower weight in children, according to a study published online Nov. 4 in Pediatrics.

Chantelle N. Hart, PhD, from the Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, RI, and colleagues performed a three-week study of 37 children (8–11 years old; 27% were overweight or obese) to examine the association between sleep duration and factors related to weight. The children slept their normal amount for the first week, and were then randomly assigned to increase or decrease their time in bed by 1.5 hours the second week and do the reverse the third week.

The researchers found that, compared with less sleep, more sleep was associated with significantly lower food intake (by 134kcal/day), lower fasting morning leptin values, and lower measured weights (by 0.22kg). Food reinforcement (points earned for a food reward) and fasting ghrelin values were not found to change.

“Compared with decreased sleep, increased sleep duration in school-age children resulted in lower reported food intake, lower fasting leptin levels, and lower weight,” Hart and colleagues conclude.

Two authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies.

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