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The Longitudinal Relationship Between Sleep Duration and Body Mass Index in Children: A Growth Mixture Modeling Approach

Magee, Christopher A. PhD*,†; Caputi, Peter PhD*,†; Iverson, Don C. PhD

Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: April 2013 - Volume 34 - Issue 3 - p 165–173
doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e318289aa51.
Original Article

Objective: A growing number of studies indicate that shorter sleep durations could contribute to obesity in children. The objective of this article was to further examine the longitudinal relationship between sleep duration and body mass index (BMI) in children by using a growth mixture modeling approach.

Method: This article used prospective data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Participants included 1079 children aged 4 to 5 years (2004) followed up until age 10 to 11 years (2010). Growth mixture modeling was performed to examine the longitudinal association between sleep duration and body mass index within distinct body mass index trajectories.

Results: The results indicated 3 distinct body mass index trajectories: healthy weight, early onset obesity, and later onset obesity. Longitudinal inverse associations were evident between sleep duration and body mass index in the Early Onset Trajectory. There were some associations between sleep duration and body mass index in the other trajectories.

Conclusions: This article provides further insight into the longitudinal relationship between sleep duration and body mass index in children. In particular, the results indicate that shorter sleep durations are primarily associated with body mass index in children with early onset obesity.

*Centre for Health Initiatives, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales 2522, Australia;

School of Psychology, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales 2522, Australia;

Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales 2522, Australia.

Address for reprints: Christopher A. Magee, PhD, Centre for Health Initiatives, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW 2522, Australia; e-mail: cmagee@uow.edu.au.

This paper was supported by an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant (DP110100857).

The authors report no conflict of interests.

Received June , 2012

Accepted January , 2013

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.