Less sleep due to technology use, caffeine linked to fat adolescents

June 9th, 2009 - 12:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 9 (IANS) Obesity among adolescents could be linked to reduced sleep, according to the latest research. A reduction in sleep could be associated with more hours of technology use, a higher caffeine intake as well as increased symptoms of sleep disorders, such as snoring.
According to lead author Amy Drescher at the University of Arizona, there are several reasons why children gain weight. Insufficient sleep is just one of them. She added that the “sleep and obesity connection is not always seen because factors such as exercise may keep weight in check.”

“Boys had significantly more vigorous exercise, recreational activity than girls,” said Drescher.

The study collected data from 320 children who completed detailed physical activity and dietary questionnaires. The average age of the sample group was 13.3 years.

Results suggested that children who slept less spent more hours in front of the television, Internet, computer and consumed more caffeine. A higher body mass index (BMI) was also associated with shorter sleep duration. Further, more hours of screen time were also associated with higher caffeine consumption.

A combination of reduced sleep, increased electronic screen time and caffeine intake may have negative consequences for adolescents’ health, academic performance and psychosocial well-being.

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