Not getting enough sleep can cause fat to accumulate around your organs, a condition much more serious than being typically overweight, scientists have found. Research by the Wake Forest University School of Medicine lays out that extremes of sleep, either too much or too little, and especially for young ethnic minority females, can cause serious fat deposits internally. “We put a lot of stock in diet,” Kristen G. Hairston, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of endocrinology and metabolism and lead author on the study told Science Daily. “But this study brings up some interesting questions about the way we live. We may need to start looking at other behaviors — besides daily food choices — that could be contributing to the obesity epidemic in younger age groups.” “In individuals under 40, the study showed a clear association between averaging five hours or less of sleep each night and large increases in visceral fat, or fat around the organs. Of the study participants under 40, Hispanic men and black women were the largest groups to report getting such little sleep.”
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