An Assessment of Obesity and Sleep Sufficiency Among Adolescents in the United States




Thompson, Erika
Mayfield, Laura


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An Assessment of Obesity and Sleep Sufficiency Among Adolescents in the United States Laura Mayfield, MPH Candidate, CHES Erika Thompson, PhD, MPH, CPH Purpose: Obesity is increasing among adolescents in the US, and understanding co-factors is needed. Insufficient sleep may contribute to obesity among adolescents. The purpose of this study was to assess the association between sufficient sleep and obesity among 9th-12th grade students in the United States. Methods: This study used the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System data (N=14,765). The sample was further restricted as a complete case analysis (N=10,350). The outcome was obesity, which was categorized dichotomously (obese, not obese) based on participants’ Body Mass Index. The exposure was sleep: those who got 8 or more hours of sleep on the average school night (sufficient sleep) and those who did not (insufficient sleep). Covariates included physical activity, sex, age, and race/ethnicity. All analyses were completed using survey- weighted procedures in SAS 9.4. A survey logistic regression model was used to calculate adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals modeling odds of obesity. Results: Among participants, 14.7% were obese and 74.5% had insufficient sleep. The association between sleep and obesity was not statistically significant (OR=0.91, 95% CI 0.76, 1.08). However, participants who were physically active for 60 minutes, 5 or more days each week, were less likely to be obese compared to participants who were not physically active, while controlling for sleep, sex, age, and race/ethnicity (OR=0.65, 95% CI 0.55, 0.76) Conclusions: Multiple factors are associated with obesity among American adolescents. Further research on obesity trends and associated factors is needed to help inform public health efforts to prevent and reduce obesity among adolescents. Keywords: YRBSS, Sleep, Obesity