OD1 Sleep and obesity in children: The latest research


Summary of symposium: Sleep disorders – particularly sleep apnea -- are common among overweight and obese children. The relationship between sleep and obesity in children is complex.  Interventions to address obesity have the potential to improve sleep-related outcomes in children, and vice versa.

The purpose of this scientific symposium is to highlight the latest research at the intersection of sleep and obesity in children.  This multidisciplinary forum will feature a range of junior to more senior investigators who have one thing in common: a shared interest and focus on interactions between sleep and obesity.  They will show data on these interactions, from both pathophysiological and treatment perspectives.  This scientific session will leave attendees with deeper knowledge of the relationship between sleep and pediatric obesity; appreciation that improvement of sleep may have positive impact on obesity; and realization that better metabolic health in children may be achievable through better sleep. 

Dr. Erin Kirkham is a board-certified, fellowship-trained Pediatric Otolaryngologist at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and an assistant professor and clinical researcher in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Michigan.  Her primary research interest is in complex and refractory pediatric sleep apnea.  She is part of Michigan’s Center for Sleep Science and a member of the multidisciplinary pediatric refractory OSA clinic.  She works closely with colleagues in sleep medicine, oral and maxillofacial surgery, and orthodontics to treat children with challenging upper airway obstruction.  She will organize and chair the symposium and serve as a speaker on weight gain after adenotonsillectomy.

Dr. Ronald Chervin is the Michael S. Aldrich Collegiate Professor of Sleep Medicine, Professor of Neurology, and Director of the University of Michigan Sleep Disorders Centers. Dr. Chervin’s research has focused on neurobehavioral and cognitive outcomes of sleep-disordered breathing in children, subjective and objective assessment of children with pediatric sleep disorders, and the impact of sleep disorders on neurological and medical conditions across the lifespan.  He will organize and co-chair the symposium.

Dr. Stacey Ishman is a Professor of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery at University of Cincinnati and the Surgical Director of the Upper Airway Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.  She is double boarded in otolaryngology and sleep medicine.  Her research focuses on treatment outcomes for sleep apnea in children.  She will present sleep outcomes data from the Teen-Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (Teen-LABS) bariatric surgery trial.

Dr. Erica Jansen, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health & Department of Neurology, Sleep Disorders Centers, University of Michigan Medicine.  She is an epidemiologist who focuses on diet and sleep in relation to pediatric health. She will present data from her work on how various aspects of sleep -- including duration, timing, and quality -- affect development of obesity and metabolic health in children. 

Dr. Leila Kheirandish-Gozal is the Children’s Miracle Network Professor and Director of the Child Health Research Institute at the University of Missouri.  Dr. Kheirandish-Gozal’s research focuses on both mechanisms and biomarkers that may mediate the strong correlation between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and vascular dysfunction in children.  She will speak on the relationship between pediatric sleep apnea, obesity, and the metabolic syndrome.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this CME activity, participants should be able to:

      • Assess how treatment of sleep apnea affects obesity, metabolism, and cardiovascular risk in children
      • Describe the impact of weight loss surgery on sleep outcomes in morbidly obese teenagers
      • Discuss how undesirable weight gain after surgical treatment for sleep apnea in children is not the rule and may depend on baseline weight status
      • Recognize what appear to be distinct roles of sleep duration, variability, and timing on adiposity and metabolic health

Target Audience

Sleep medicine physicians and fellows, otolaryngologists, clinical and translational researchers, pediatricians, and other clinicians


Erin Kirkham (United States)

Ronald Chervin (United States)

OSA and bariatric surgery: The teen-LABS experience

Stacey Ishman (United States)

Effects of sleep timing and variability on metabolic health

Erica Jansen (United States)

Pediatric sleep apnea, obesity, and the metabolic syndrome

Leila Kheirandish-Gozal (United States)

Is adenotonsillectomy a risk for unhealthy weight gain?

Erin Kirkham (United States)

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