"It doesn't tell us much about the total sleep time that the child needs in order to prevent ... obesity", she said. According to the New York Times, 10 percent of those who went to bed at 8 were obese, compared to 16 percent who had bedtimes between 8 and 9, and 23 percent of those who had bedtimes of 9 or later.
They found delaying a child's bedtime until 9pm doubles their chances of becoming obese.
Still, Anderson says, for lots of reasons, "parents might want to consider what it would take for them to have a regular early bedtime routine for their preschool-aged child". "It's something concrete that families can do to lower their child's risk and it's also likely to have positive benefits on behaviour and on social, emotional and cognitive development", Anderson said.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that as of 2015, close to 20 percent of all children and adolescents suffer from obesity.
To further investigate how sleep patterns could affect obesity risk, the researchers used data from 977 children who were part of the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development.
The project followed healthy babies born at 10 United States sites in 1991.
Preschoolers are considered around four and a half years of age.
The kids most likely to be obese later in life were those who went to bed the latest and whose mothers were observed to be less supportive and less receptive, the study said.
The study showed that when participants turned 15 years old, only 10 percent of the kids with the earliest bedtimes were obese.
The takeaway: help your child establish good sleep habits from an early age, including getting to bed at a reasonable hour.
To determine if the emotional climate at home might be influencing the bedtime routines of the children, the researchers measured the "maternal sensitivity" by examining the mother-child interaction during a videotaped playtime.
Scientists call the measurement "maternal sensitivity", which factors in maternal support, respect for the child's autonomy and lack of hostility.
Researchers from the Ohio State University College of Public Health said that sleeping even one hour later could double the chance of young children to turn into obese adolescents.
Low-income, less educated, African-American and Hispanic mothers evaluated in the study resulted in being more likely to have later bedtimes for their children.
Poor sleep, especially short sleep duration, is a risk factor for obesity. In addition to weight concerns, routine bedtimes were found to reduce behavior problems in children as well, note the study authors. The researchers then divided the total into three group on the basis of the time they sleep at night- before and up to 8pm; between 8and 9pm and after 9pm.
"For the parents of young children, it often feels like an uphill battle at the end of each day - bedtime".
Pediatricians can also help to address obstacles families may face, she said.
'Families have many competing demands and there are tradeoffs that get made.
Researchers suggest that there should be, if possible, a consistent bedtime routine in line with mom's work scheduled or duties.