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BMC Public Health

, 10:609

First Online: 15 October 2010Received: 14 April 2010Accepted: 15 October 2010DOI: 10.1186-1471-2458-10-609

Cite this article as: Shi, Z., Taylor, A.W., Gill, T.K. et al. BMC Public Health 2010 10: 609. doi:10.1186-1471-2458-10-609


BackgroundThere is limited information on sleep duration and obesity among Australian children. The objective of the study is to cross-sectionally examine the relationship between sleep duration and obesity in Australian children aged 5 to 15 years.

MethodsData were collected using the South Australian Monitoring and Surveillance System between January 2004 and December 2008. Each month a representative random sample of South Australians are selected from the Electronic White Pages with interviews conducted using Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing CATI. Within each household, the person who was last to have a birthday was selected for interview. Parents reported the number of hours their children slept each day. Obesity was defined according to the International Obesity Task Force IOTF definition based on BMI calculated from reported body weight and height.

ResultsOverall, parents of 3495 children aged 5-15 years mean 10.7 years, 50.3% boys were interviewed. The prevalence of obesity was 7.7% 8.9% in boys, 6.6% in girls. In multivariate analysis after adjusting for sociodemographic variables, intake of fruit and vegetables, physical activity and inactivity, the odds ratio OR for obesity comparing sleeping <9 hours with ≥10 hours was 2.23 95% CI 1.04-4.76 among boys, 1.700.78-3.73 among girls, and 1.971.15-3.38 in both genders. The association between short sleep <9 hours and obesity was stronger in the younger age group. No significant association between short sleep and obesity was found among children aged 13-15. There was also an additive interaction between short sleep and low level of physical activity.

ConclusionShort sleep duration is associated with increased obesity in children especially among younger age groups and boys.

AbbreviationsSAMSSSouth Australian Monitoring and Surveillance System

ORodds ratio

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1471-2458-10-609 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Zumin Shi - Anne W Taylor - Tiffany K Gill - Jane Tuckerman - Robert Adams - James Martin


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