Sleep, Diet and Exercise: Keys to Weight and Health Management
Alyssa Sparacino, contributor to Health, claims there are 11 health benefits of sleep. WebMD’s R Robin Griffin lists 9 reasons to get more sleep. They include better health, better sex life, less pain and lower risk of injury. A new study finds the list of sleep benefits should also include making healthier food choices.
Kruger and colleagues analyzed cross-sectional data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. In-home interviews were conducted with a nationally representative sample of American adolescents (n = 14,738) between 1994-2008. Based on records from 13,284, they report that adolescents reporting <7 hr sleep nightly were 34% less likely to consume at least one vegetable and one fruit serving daily than those sleeping >8 hr. They were also more likely to consume fast food. Greater screen time was also associated with less fruit and vegetable consumption. 56% of the adolescents reported consuming at least one vegetable or fruit on the previous day. Well below the recommended 2.5-3 cups of vegetables and 1.5-2 cups of fruit.
The main variables affecting fruit and vegetable intake among adolescents are home availability and taste preference. A systematic review of 7 intervention trials involving family-focused interventions to increase daily fruit and vegetable consumption among overweight children found only one had a lasting effect. Among Chinese youth, there has been a small increase in total fruit consumption (50 g/d) between 1991 and 2009 but total vegetable consumption decreased from 250 to 226 g/d. Research from Canada finds that higher fruit and vegetable intakes during adolescence increases self-rated health in early adulthood.
Although the amount of sleep needed varies across ages, new research finds an association between sleep and nutrition. For more information sleep and the brain, visit the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke “Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep”. After all, research shows that sleep, diet and exercise are all important to weight and health management.
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