Background: Obesity in children is a serious health problem with a rapidly increasing global prevalence. Children with obesity are at high risk of developing several metabolic diseases as adults. Studies show that short sleep duration is a risk factor for obesity. Short sleep duration will affect the diurnal rhythm and disrupt homeostasis and energy metabolism. This systematic review aims to determine the relationship between sleep duration and obesity in children.
Methods: A systematic literature review was carried out by literature searching on PubMed and Google Scholar using the PRISMA diagram and based on the eligibility criteria in selecting literature. The study was limited to the last five years (2017-2021). Studies that met the criteria were included in the analysis.
Results: There were 17 studies included in the analysis with cross sectional studies, prospective cohorts and clinical trials study designs regarding the relationship between sleep duration and obesity in children. All studies show a strong association between sleep duration and obesity in children and adolescents. The underlying mechanism is short sleep duration affects the balance of hormones controlling hunger and appetite so that appetite increases and causes excess energy intake, resulting in obesity. Children with short sleep duration are 2-4 times more prone to obesity compared to children with normal sleep duration.
Conclusion: There is a significant relationship between sleep duration and obesity in children and adolescents. Adequate sleep duration is recommended to prevent obesity and the risk of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.