The task of reducing our child obesity statistics could be helped by improving babies' sleeping habits, according to new research from the University of Otago.
An eight year study following 800 families with a new born baby in 2010 has revealed healthy weights were more prevalent in children who had sleep intervention as infants.
The intervention included parents watching for the clearly identifiable signs that the baby was tired and then putting the baby to bed in a calm quiet and darkish space.
Parents were encouraged not to carry, feed or sing to their babies in order to get them to sleep which helped promote self-soothing behaviour.
Although the children who received the sleep intervention had only half the rates of obesity at two years of age, researchers are still at loss to explain why, as they weren't able to observe a measurable change in sleep.