A growing body of research supports the potential importance of behavioral and social routines for children’s health promotion and obesity risk reduction. Evidence in support of this comes from multiple lines of research, which suggest that specific behavioral routines, namely, eating and sleep routines, may be protective against excessive weight gain and development of pediatric obesity. Emerging work also supports the potential importance of the timing of these behavioral routines. From a circadian perspective, alignment of behavioral and social routines with underlying circadian rhythms may be particularly important for enhancing children’s weight regulation. Specifically, engaging in appropriately timed behavioral routines may serve to entrain circadian rhythms that affect metabolism and weight regulation. Thus, in addition to promoting healthier eating, activity, and sleep behaviors for prevention and treatment of pediatric obesity, it may also be important to consider promotion of consistency in, and optimal timing of, these behaviors in an effort to enhance extant prevention and treatment approaches.
American Psychologist – American Psychological Association
Published: Feb 1, 2020
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