Do Associations between Sleep and Body Mass Vary by Gender or Race/Ethnicity among U.S. Adolescents?

Eric N. Reither, Utah State University
Patrick M. Krueger, University of Colorado at Denver
Lauren Hale, Stony Brook University, State University of New York (SUNY)
Paul Peppard, University of Wisconsin-Madison

We use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to test two main hypotheses. First, we examine whether differences in sleep duration could help explain stark ethnic disparities in BMI. Second, we explore the notion that associations between sleep and BMI are not uniform across demographic groups. Regression models suggest that sleep does not account for ethnic disparities in BMI. However, multiple partial F-tests indicate the presence of several two-way interactions between sleep, ethnicity and gender. These models affirm strong inverse associations between sleep duration and BMI for White boys (b=-.26), Hispanic boys (b=-.31) and Asian boys (b=-.27). Weaker inverse associations were detected among Black boys (b=-.07) and Hispanic girls (b=-.06). Contrary to negative associations typically found between sleep duration and BMI, essentially no association was detected for White or Asian girls, and a positive association was found among Black girls (b=0.19). This counterintuitive finding requires further investigation.

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Presented in Poster Session 3