There is more bad news for obese children. Researchers in Hong Kong found that up to one third of obese children seem to have trouble breathing at some point during sleep, compared with only 5% of normal-weight children. For example, excess pounds may lead to breathing problems by causing the airways to narrow or become congested during sleep.
In their study, the researchers monitored 90 children sleeping, noting their weight and who experienced breathing problems. Approximately 50% of the participants were obese.The results showed that obese children appeared to be 20% more apt to exhibit signs of sleep apnea, compared with normalweight kids. Also, children with abnormally large tonsils appeared to have an almost 13-fold increased risk of sleeprelated troubles, according to findings published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood (December 2003).