The prevalence of obesity has increased dramatically over the past decade. Although an imbalance between caloric intake and physical activity is considered a key factor responsible for the increase, there is emerging evidence suggesting that other factors may be important contributors to weight gain, including inadequate sleep. Overall research evidence suggests that inadequate sleep is associated with obesity. Importantly, the strength and trajectory of the association seem to be influenced by multiple factors including age. Although limited, the emerging evidence suggests young adults might be at the center of a "perfect health storm," exposing them to the highest risk for obesity and inadequate sleep. Unfortunately, the methods necessary for elucidating the complex relationship between sleep and obesity are lacking. Uncovering the underlying factors and trajectories between inadequate sleep and weight gain in different populations may help to identify the windows of susceptibility and to design targeted interventions to prevent the negative impact of obesity and related diseases.
- Young adults
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