179691471Americans just keep getting fatter, its true, but did you know that sleep deprivation could play a role in tipping the scales?

Studies have connected sleep, eating and weight in adults and older children. Now new research published in the International Journal of Obesity has found that the same may hold true for younger children under the age of three.

You cant take sleep for granted. Its more important than you may think.

The study, by researchers at University College London (UCL) and funded by Cancer Research UK, found that young tots who sleep less tend to eat more. Overeating becomes a habit, and the dominoes line up for obesity and other health problems as kids mature.

Obese Children At Risk For Disease

While obesity in adulthood is a concern, obesity in children is another can of worms altogether, leading to disease and even more strain on health care. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that one in three children in the United States born in 2,000 will develop diabetes at some point in their lifetime.

Right now there are kids under the age of 10 that are developing type 2 diabetes, a disease usually found in adults over 40. Type 2 diabetes can lead to eye, kidney and organ damage. An earlier diagnosis of diabetes means a higher risk of long-term damage.

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