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CBS Local — Consistently missing out on a full night’s sleep is detrimental to one’s health in different ways and may help contribute to obesity, according to a new study by the University of Leeds in England.

Researchers studied more than 1,600 adults’ sleeping and eating patterns. The participants also had their weight, waist circumference, and blood pressure levels recorded. The study’s findings revealed that those who reported getting less than seven hours of sleep each night have larger waists than those who get more sleep. The difference between those with six and nine hours of sleep was three centimeters on waist circumference.

“Because we found that adults who reported sleeping less than their peers were more likely to be overweight or obese, our findings highlight the importance of getting enough sleep,” said Dr. Laura Haride, lead researcher, via the University of Leeds. “How much sleep we need differs between people, but the current consensus is that seven to nine hours is best for most adults.”

Those who slept less also had less good cholesterol, which removes fat from the body.

“The number of people with obesity worldwide has more than doubled since 1980,” said Greg Potter, researcher on the study. “Obesity contributes to the development of many diseases, most notably type 2 diabetes. Understanding why people gain weight has crucial implications for public health.”

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