A recent study found that various lifestyle factors, such as eating breakfast and getting enough sleep in childhood could predict body mass index (BMI) in early adolescence. Investigators also found a correlation between an increase in BMI and a decrease in psychosocial well-being.
Researchers used data from the Millennium Cohort Study, which gathered data on 16,936 children at ages 3, 5, 7, and 11 years old between September 2000 and January 2002.
Using a regression analysis, researchers were able to find correlations between early psychosocial factors and BMI at age 11. Skipping breakfast, smoking during pregnancy, a high maternal BMI, and irregular bedtimes correlated with “moderate” and “high” increasing BMI groups. In addition, children in the “moderate” and “high” increasing groups had worse scores for emotional symptoms, peer problems, happiness, body satisfaction, and self-esteem, and those in the “high increasing” group were more likely to have tried alcohol and cigarettes.