Lack of Sleep Linked to Obesity Essay

Lack of Sleep Linked to Obesity Essay

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The amount of people suffering from obesity has exploded in recent years. According to the textbook, A Wellness Way of Life, “Thirty-four and three fourths percent of American adults are obese. In 1960-62 the percentage was thirteen percent” (A Wellness Way of Life, pg. 264). The obesity problem is not isolated to the United States alone, but has become a worldwide health issue of epidemic proportions. Many factors, such as diet and physical activity, contribute to obesity. However, scientists have recently found a surprising link between obesity and lack of sleep. Multiple studies have been performed to confirm this link and though inconclusive, these studies support the idea that lack of sleep may be a major cause of obesity today.
Researchers have found that sleep deprivation impairs glucose, increases blood pressure, and deregulates appetite. A Wellness Way of Life states,
Insufficient sleep appears to affect hormones that regulate appetite and body weight. Leptin, which suppresses appetite, is lowered; ghrelin, which stimulates appetite, gets a boost. These hormone changes combined with more awake time to eat and feeling too tired to exercise all contribute to weight gain. (A Wellness Way of Life, pg. 375)
Eve Van Cauter, and endocrinologist at the University of Chicago School of medicine, conducted a study on the effect of sleep on the body. She monitored every system in her young volunteer’s bodies while they slept. They had limited sleep for 4 hours for six nights. According to the study “some volunteers were on the road to diabetes in just six days” (Cauter). Van Cauter made a shocking discovery that lack of sleep may be linked with obesity. Her volunteers also had a slight drop in their leptin levels, which is a hormon...

... middle of paper ...

...nsider that contribute to the obesity epidemic such as, social, cultural, and environmental situations. These studies, however, support the idea that lack of sleep may be a major cause of obesity today.

Work Cited
Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children Study Team. University of Bristol. ALSPCS, 2014. Web. 6 Mar. 2014
A Wellness Way of Life. Robbins, Gwen, Debbie Powers, and Sharon Burgess. 10th ed. Madison, Wis: WCB Brown & Benchmark Publishers, 1994. 264. Print.
Cauter, Eve Van. “Science of Sleep.” CBS News. 60 Minutes, 15 June 2008. Web. 6 Mar. 2014
Harvard School of Public Health. “Obesity Prevention Source.” Harvard School of Public Health. HSPH, n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2014
North American Association for the Study of Obesity. “Short Sleep Duration and Weight Gain.” North American Association for the Study of Obesity. NAASO. 6 Sep. 2012. Web. 2 June. 2014

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