National / Science & Health

Japanese researchers to analyze big data on babies' development

Kyodo

In Japan people say neru ko wa sodatsu — a child who sleeps well grows up well. But does sleeping really bear a causal relationship to a child’s height?

In an attempt to find out whether this well-known proverb can be scientifically backed up and learn other aspects of a child’s growth, the National Center for Child Health and Development said Tuesday it has teamed up with an IT venture firm to analyze big data submitted by parents rearing babies.

Under the tie-up, the research institute will have access to more than 100 million data on babies’ sleeping, bowel movement, physical growth and other items that have been logged via a smartphone app provided by First Ascent.

Those who submitted the data have consented to its use for the research.

More than 170,000 people have used the papatto ikuji app developed by the Tokyo firm. Researchers will mostly analyze data concerning newborns and babies up to around 1 year old.

In addition to a study on relations between sleeping hours and a child’s height, the researchers will study whether babies fed with breast milk and those receiving baby formula have any difference in the number of times they poop.

The research institute aims to announce the results of the study by fall.

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