News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Child obesity can be tackled by simple sleep interventions

Tuesday 7 March 2017

Otago research suggests child obesity can be tackled by simple sleep interventions

Families who receive brief interventions about how to improve their children’s sleep have infants who are much less likely to be overweight, a University of Otago study has found.

The two-year outcomes of the Prevention of Obesity in Infancy (POI) study appear in the prominent international journal Pediatrics.

The POI study involved 802 Dunedin families who agreed to participate in a study where they received standard ‘Well Child’ care, with some families also being given extra support around food, activity and breast feeding (FAB), some being given an innovative sleep programme, and some being given both interventions.

Study co-leaders Professors Barry Taylor and Rachael Taylor say surprisingly, when the children were two years old, the extra support around food, activity and breastfeeding did not affect how the children grew.

“However, children in families who received the sleep programme were much less likely to be overweight,” they say.

The two researchers led a multidisciplinary team at the Dunedin School of Medicine where Professor Barry Taylor is a Paediatrician and Dean of the School, and co-Director of the Better Start National Science Challenge) and Professor Rachael Taylor is Director of the Edgar Diabetes and Obesity research centre.

The two professors point out that New Zealand parents already have access to significant support and advice on nutrition, activity and breastfeeding from their midwife, and Well Child provider.

“Our POI study suggests that extra education in these areas does not protect babies from becoming overweight.

“By contrast, the beneficial effects of the POI sleep intervention on the children’s weight were intriguing and quite substantial,” they say.

Professor Rachael Taylor says the findings were also surprising because although international studies have shown that poor sleep is associated with obesity in children, the POI sleep intervention was very brief.

“Families in the sleep group had one class before baby was born, and then a personal visit from an expert sleep nurse when their baby was three weeks old. Some families requested extra help if their baby still had difficulties sleeping after six months of age,” she says.

Professor Barry Taylor says the intriguing findings suggest that parents and families would benefit from expert advice on their infant’s sleep.

“Further work is required to determine whether more intense interventions, particularly in those at higher need, can be even more successful,” he says.

The POI study was funded by the Health Research Council (HRC) of New Zealand, the Southern DHB, and the University of Otago.

The HRC recently announced that Professor Rachael Taylor is the recipient of International Relationship Fund - NZ-US enabling grant that will allow a collaboration to combine childhood obesity and sleep research expertise from both countries. More information is available here: http://www.hrc.govt.nz/funding-opportunities/recipients/associate-professor-rachael-taylor-0

The full study is available at: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/139/3/e20162037


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Max Rashbrooke: Review - The NZSO And Nature

This was a lovely, varied concert with an obvious theme based on the natural world. It kicked off with Mendelssohn's sparkling Hebrides Overture, which had a wonderfully taut spring right from the start, and great colour from the woodwinds, especially the clarinets. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Prue Hyman On ‘Hopes Dashed?’

For Scoop Review of Books, Alison McCulloch interviewed Prue Hyman about her new book, part of the BWB Texts series, Hopes Dashed? The Economics of Gender Inequality More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Chuck Berry (And James Comey, And Bill English)

Back when many people were still treating rock’n’roll as a passing fad – was calypso going to be the new thing? – Chuck Berry knew that it had changed popular music forever. What is even more astonishing is that this 30-ish black r&b musician from a middle class family in St Louis could manage to recreate the world of white teenagers, at a time when the very notion of a “teenager” had just been invented. More>>

Howard Davis Review:
The Baroque Fusion Of L'arpeggiata

Named after a toccata by German composer Girolamo Kapsberger, L'Arpeggiata produces its unmistakable sonority mainly from the resonance of plucked strings, creating a tightly-woven acoustic texture that is both idiosyncratic and immediately identifiable. Director Christina Pluhar engenders this distinctive tonality associated with the ensemble she founded in 2000 by inviting musicians and vocalists from around the world to collaborate on specific projects illuminated by her musicological research. More>>

African Masks And Sculpture: Attic Discovery On Display At Expressions Whirinaki

Ranging from masks studded with nails and shards of glass to statues laden with magical metal, the works are from ethnic groups in nine countries ranging from Ivory Coast to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news