Obesity: poor sleep could prevent patients from losing weight

Obesity rate drops preschoolers

Worldwide, 1.9 billion adults are overweight and more than 650 million are obese. Today, in the United States, nearly 40% of the population is obese.

Another scourge of the modern world is sleep disorders, which are also affecting more and more people around the world. According to a study conducted in March on the occasion of World Day of Sleep, 85% of French people say they wake up at least once a night, with a waking time of 39 minutes before going back to sleep. However, according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, overweight people who sleep poorly have a harder time losing weight.

For a year, Spanish researchers analyzed the medical data of nearly 2000 individuals aged 65 on average. The latter were all overweight or obese and also had a metabolic syndrome, a set of risk factors involving hypertension, high insulin levels, low glucose tolerance levels and abnormal levels of blood lipids.

Throughout the study, the volunteers followed a low-calorie Mediterranean diet (rich in olive oil, whole grains and fermented milk products), increased their level of physical activity and participated in sessions aiming to improve their lifestyle. At the same time, researchers monitored their sleep patterns.

After one year of study, those who reported not sleeping for several hours each night lost less weight than those with more stable sleep patterns. Moreover, people who slept less than six hours a night lost less in waist circumference than those who slept between seven and nine hours.

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“These results prove the importance of sleep on weight and provide elements to follow overweight seniors with metabolic syndrome,” note the researchers who further encourage weight loss programs to closely monitor the sleep of their patients for more efficiency.

This study is not the first to make the connection between obesity and lack of sleep. Last year, researchers showed that a child’s sleep affects weight later in life. According to this study, children and adolescents who lack sleep are more likely to gain weight when they grow up, and may be overweight or obese as adults.

A few weeks ago, another study showed that lying down and getting up at irregular hours disrupted our metabolism, increasing the risk of suffering from obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high cholesterol.

Finally, obesity or even being overweight can lead to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, menstrual disorders, stomach pain and headaches. It is also associated with an increased risk of cancer of the uterus, ovaries and breast in women, prostate in men and colon and gallbladder in both sexes.

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Emy Torres

Emy holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan and currently freelances part-time for The Talking Democrat.