Researchers have found that teenagers who get adequate sleep make more healthy food choices than youngsters who aren't well-rested. The researchers were studying the link between sleep and obesity.
The study was led by Lauren Hale, associate professor of Preventive Medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine. The finding, presented at SLEEP 2013, the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, may be key to understanding the link between sleep and obesity, reports Science Daily.
"Not only do sleepy teens on average eat more food that's bad for them, they also eat less food that is good for them," said Hale, speaking about the study results.
"While we already know that sleep duration is associated with a range of health consequences, this study speaks to some of the mechanisms, i.e., nutrition and decision making, through which health outcomes are affected."
The study, which was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, examined the association between sleep duration and food choices in a national representative sample of 13,284 teenagers in the second wave of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. The data were collected in 1996 when the interview subjects had a mean age of 16 years.