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The Karolina Institute in Sweden has found that the later a child’s bedtime is, the more likely they are to become obese. Tracking 107 children from the age of one to six, researchers examined their weight, height and waist size. Sleeping patterns were also monitored for several days once each year. For those who went to bed later than 9pm each night, it was determined that their body mass index (BMI) was higher by the time the survey ended. Weight gain was not necessarily a direct result of later bedtime, however. Dr. Claude Marcus, Professor of Paediatrics and author of the study, believes this is merely a marker of an unconventional lifestyle. “If you put your kids to bed earlier, would it change anything? That’s something we don’t know” she admits. However, bedtimes for young children vary across the world, with toddlers and babies in Asia going to sleep later at night. In the UK, Australia and New Zealand sleep usually begins somewhere between 7:28 and 7:55pm. This is early compared to those in Japan where the average bedtime is 9:17 and in Hong Kong it is a full hour later.

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Family Kids & Youth – what we are doing during Coronavirus lockdown

We are continuing to carry out our UK and international research with children, teens and parents but have switched all this online and to our apps. Our qualitative research is filmed and our mini groups, depth interviews and focus groups are proving to be a great success. Children and young people are totally at home speaking online and are extremely vocal, even on the most sensitive of topics. Parents are appreciating the ‘group effect’ of online video conferencing.

Our resourceful team at FK&Y has been home-based since Monday 16 March and our regular catch-ups on Microsoft Teams ensure we all know what each other is doing! We’d like to thank our clients, our suppliers and of course our research participants for being so encouraging and so supportive.

We have compiled lists of organisations that offer help on home-schooling, child behaviour, and anxiety and mental health. Please contact me if you wish to receive this list.

Wishing all our clients, colleagues and friends our very best wishes! Dr Barbie.

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