LYNNABEL's CalorieKing blog

Monday, Apr 14 2008

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Reduced Infant's Sleep Increases Risk of Obesity Over 70%, Adding Television Watching Increases Risk to Over 240%
MyHealthGuide Source: Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, Vol. 162 No. 4, 4/2008, Abstract here (

Daily sleep duration of less than 12 hours during infancy can increase risk of being overweight in preschool according to a study published in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine. Add television watching increase the risk even more.

The study followed 915 children in Project Viva, ages 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years. Mothers reported the number of hours their children slept in a 24-hour period. Researchers used regression analyses to predict the independent effects of sleep duration (< 12 h/d vs 12 h/d) on body mass index (BMI), the sum of subscapular and triceps skinfold thicknesses, and overweight (BMI for age and sex 95th percentile) at age 3 years. Adjustments were made for maternal education, income, prepregnancy BMI, marital status, smoking history, and breastfeeding duration and child's race/ethnicity, birth weight, 6-month weight-for-length z score, daily television viewing, and daily participation in active play.

Study findings

7% of infants who slept 12 hours or more per day were obese at age 3 compared to 12% of babies who slept less than 12 hours, a 71% increase.
17% of those who slept less than 12 hours a day and watched two or more hours of television a day were obese by age 3, a 243% increase.
Researchers say the link between lack of sleep and obesity could be due to the effects of sleep on hormones that control feelings of hunger and fullness.


Last night I made what I think is the hardest decision I've had to make as a parent so far. I decided that I need to give up my night time routine with Will. What was once the cornerstone of my week-day routine with him has descended into a debacle that leaves him hysterical with laughter (right before bed) and me shaking with rage.

The reason this was such a painful decision to make is that for as long as I've been working since Will's birth, I've been the one to do baths, jammies, teeth brushing, reading, songs, bottle, and tucking him in. Its been a precious time of day for me - I've journaled about it many times, I'm sure. Unfortunately, over the past 3 or 4 weeks, Will has become very difficult to manage through this routine. He is gifted in the way children are at knowing exactly where my buttons are. He can sense that I'm very conflicted about my temper and he pushes me until I'm...well, incohrent with anger and frustration. I've talked to Steve about it ad naseum and I've tried several different things to see if it could be fixed, but nothing has worked and last night I admitted defeat. Will won. Steve will take over the duties until some untermined time in the future when I can try again. I'll spend that time snuggling and playing with Ellen.

You may be wondering why this constitutes the "hardest decision I've had to make as a parent." Melodramatic, I know. It feels like a failure of myself as a mother. That I can't work with Will around this behavior problem and get to a point that we both can manage gauls me. But - as a long as I have such a good co-parent to fall back on, I need to sacrifice my feelings for the good of the situation. Still - it makes me sad to give up that time with him for now.

This weekend was nice and relatively relaxing, which is how they should be. Will has been "letting" Steve and I watch old "The Office" episodes, which is something we really enjoy. Will and I went to church yesterday afternoon. The presiding minister was visiting Transylvanian Unitarian minister. He was fascinating. On Sunday morning I actually took BOTH kids to the zoo and it wasn't too bad. Will was tired so he was a bit much towards the end, but I was glad to a) give Steve some time alone even though he insists he doesn't need it and b) prove to myself that I could take two kids somewhere together by myself. :) Will had been talking about the dolphin show all week so it was fun to watch him watch the dolphins.

I got Ellen's smile captured this weekend. I'll post the picture one of these evenings. She is gorgeous.

My week of hard work food-wise resulted in a loss (a minimal one, but I'll take it). I had a semi-okay weekend foodwise but nothing to write home about. I have a lunch meeting that I'm dreading today because I have such a hard time making good choices at restaurants. I wish I had Patti's skill in that area. I'm just going to try to limit myself to soup since anything else is problematic.

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5 comments so far.


a decade ago

Can't wait to see Ellen's smile! Lynnie, you're way too hard on yourself! Things change with children and you just have to adjust so that what's begun not to work can become workable once again. I understand how you'd miss the ritual, but maybe the Sunday afternoon ritual to give Steve some time alone will be a new one? You're doing a great job -- toddlers can be VERY frustrating! :kiss:




a decade ago

Sneaky little snots aren't they? ;) I think this change will be good for both of you.Will needs to learn that he doesn't get to walk all over Mommy and not suffer any consequences. Truth is, he may not have been wanting a change in parent roles at all, he probably is just being a contrary 2 year old. But putting Steve on bedtime duty shows him that when he misbehaves and takes advantage then you guys are going to change things around. Basically I guess what I'm saying is that he doesn't get to be bratty and still have things continue on as they are. It's a good lesson. Another idea would be for you to split the routine. Eric and I have always been very liquid in who handles bedtime. One of us (whoever isn't doing dishes =D ) does baths. They get out and we both do jammies, then teeth and reading. It's always been that way, even when we only had one child. If the kid(s) are responding badly to one of us and not listening, the other steps in and takes over. It's not failure; it's a cooling off period. We also both stay in the rooms for story time, no matter who they choose to read the book. So don't remove yourself entirely. Maybe you can participate in the early things like bath and jammies, or come in at the end for story time. Just a thought. :kiss: Good luck with lunch today!

by CBL



a decade ago

I hear you Lynn...they do become master button-pushers (dare I say manipulators!!) at this age...and it is HARD at the end of an already tiring day to remain calm and all "praise-the-positive-ignore-the-negative" in parenting. I know it makes you is a precious time..are there ways to change the routine a little bit to minimize the hysterical giggling time just before bed? Maybe bath-time first ..then a little bit of quiet play time before the settling down for bed time? Can't wait to see pics of smiley Ellen! :kiss:




a decade ago

:kiss: I think it will be good discipline for Will to learn a new routine. the trip to the zoo sounds perfect for all of you, I hope you had decent weather for it and the skies are opening in the great white North. can't wait for the picture of Ellen!




a decade ago

I'm not a parent but I really do no think it has anything to do with your parenting at all, go easy on yourself mommy. Maybe your little boy just needs a little hang time with papa right now. He may not know this but maybe this time with Steve is simply a part of growing up cycle. Nothing like that little extra father and son time. I know it was your special time with him and its not to say you won't get it back maybe even sooner than you think (dads sometimes have a way of making you want to scream out MAMaaaaaa!) Enjoy your extra girl time with your special girl. At the end of the day it all washes out the same, everybody in your family still continues to get love, love and MORE LOVE. It may be one of your hardest decision but certainly a good one if shared love is the end result. EVERYBODY WINS :love: