Temple Researcher Aims to Determine If Sleep Deprivation Impacts Post-Partum Weight Gain

Sharon Herring, an assistant professor of medicine at the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University in Philadelphia, is conducting a three-year study on whether the sleep deprivation experienced by new mothers contributes to postpartum weight gain and impacts the risk of diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Dr. Herring will focus on low-income and minority mothers, a group that averages weight gains in the first year after childbirth that are two to three times the average weight gain for White women.

Dr. Herring states, “efforts to develop effective obesity prevention interventions among minority women during and after pregnancy have been hampered by the lack of data about what behaviors can be changed to help them lose the baby weight.”

“If we determine that sleep deprivation is a contributing factor to weight gain, we can design interventions to improve mothers’ sleep that enhance existing dietary and activity strategies,” says Herring. “This has the potential to improve the long-term health of women.”

Professor Herring’s research is funded by a $486,000 grant from the Doris Duke Foundation. Dr. Herring is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University. She earned a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University and a medical degree from Temple University.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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