Teen sleeplessness piles on risk for obesity

August 20, 2014
Science Daily/Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Teenagers who don't get enough sleep may wake up to worse consequences than nodding off during chemistry class. According to new research, risk of being obese by age 21 was 20 percent higher among 16-year-olds who got less than six hours of sleep a night, compared with their peers who slumbered more than eight hours.

"Lack of sleep in your teenage years can stack the deck against you for obesity later in life," says Suglia. "Once you're an obese adult, it is much harder to lose weight and keep it off. And the longer you are obese, the greater your risk for health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer."

Daytime sleepiness and fatigue are known to affect what and how people eat, by altering appetite and stimulating cravings. Energy levels may also play a role. For the sleep-deprived, ordering calorie-dense fast food is easier than preparing a nutritious meal. Information on what the teens ate was not captured in the surveys, although it could play a role. Future research may look whether, for example, soda consumption is a factor in sleeplessness and, in turn, obesity. (A 2013 study by Suglia found young children who drink soda are more likely to have behavioral problems.)
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140820111958.htm

 

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