Sleep duration and its association with adiposity markers in adolescence: a cross-sectional and longitudinal study

Jesús Martínez-Gómez, Juan Miguel Fernández-Alvira, Amaya De Cos-Gandoy, Patricia Bodega, Mercedes De Miguel, Anna Tresserra-Rimbau, Emily P. Laveriano-Santos, Vanesa Carral, Isabel Carvajal, Ramón Estruch, Rosa María Lamuela-Raventós, Gloria Santos-Beneit, Valentín Fuster, Rodrigo Fernández-Jiménez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Aims: Large studies linking adolescents' objectively measured sleep duration and adiposity markers are lacking. We characterized sleep duration and its cross-sectional and longitudinal associations with adiposity markers in adolescence. Methods and results: Seven-day accelerometry was performed in a cohort of adolescents enrolled in the SI! Program for Secondary Schools trial in Spain at approximately ages 12 (1216 adolescents, 49.6% girls), 14 (1026 adolescents, 51.3% girls), and 16 (872 adolescents, 51.7% girls) years. Participants were classified as very short sleepers (VSS; <7 h), short sleepers (SS; 7-<8 h), or recommended-time sleepers (RTS; 8-10 h). Adjusted associations between sleep duration and adiposity markers were analysed using generalized linear and Poisson models. At ∼12 years, 33.7% of adolescents met sleep recommendations, and this percentage decreased with advancing age (22.6% at ∼14 and 18.7% at ∼16 years). Compared with RTS, overweight/obesity prevalence ratios at ∼12, 14, and 16 years among SS were 1.19 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.09-1.30], 1.41 (95% CI: 1.34-1.48), and 0.99 (95% CI: 0.77-1.26) and among VSS were 1.30 (95% CI: 1.28-1.32), 1.93 (95% CI: 1.41-2.64), and 1.32 (95% CI: 1.26-1.37). Compared with adolescents who always met sleep recommendations, the prevalence of overweight/obesity was ∼5 times higher in those never meeting recommendations or meeting them only once. Similar trends were observed for the waist-to-height ratio (P = 0.010) and fat mass index (P = 0.024). Conclusion: Most adolescents did not meet sleep recommendations. Shorter sleep duration was independently associated with unfavourable adiposity markers, and such adverse impact was cumulative. Health promotion programmes should emphasize the importance of good sleep habits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1236-1244
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • Accelerometry
  • Child
  • Health promotion
  • Overweight
  • Schools


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