Teens Not Getting Enough Sleep May Consume 4.5 Extra Pounds Of Sugar During A School Year

Sleep is important for all people, but particularly for teens.

Brigham Young University researchers found that lack of sleep in teens is linked to many issues, including increased risk of weight gain and other cardiometabolic diseases because teens have worse dietary habits when they sleep less. The specifically found teens who slept six-and-a-half hours each night (short sleep) consumed more foods that were likely to spike blood sugar fast (like foods high in carbs and added sugar, or sugary drinks), compared to teens who slept nine-and-a-half hours each night (healthy sleep.)

Lead study author Dr. Kara Duraccio adds, “What’s interesting is that getting less sleep didn’t cause teens to eat more than their peers getting healthy sleep; both groups consumed roughly the same amounts of calories of food. But getting less sleep caused teens to eat more junk. We suspect that tired teens are looking for quick bursts of energy to keep them going until they can do to bed […].” The scientists note, “Sleep health should be incorporated into all prevention and intervention modules for child obesity.” (EurekAlert!)