April 11--Scientists seem to spend a lot of time pondering teens and their
weight. Check out a few of the studies making news:
SNOOZE TIME: Parents might want to let junior sleep in.
A new study by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the
University of Pennsylvania and published in the journal Pediatrics, showed that
fewer hours of sleep is associated with greater increases in adolescent body
mass index among study participants aged 14 to 18. Increasing sleep duration to
10 hours per day, especially for those in the upper half of the BMI
distribution, the study suggests, could help to reduce the prevalence of
TV TIME: Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have shown that paying
attention to TV is strongly associated with higher body mass index,
medicalxpress.com reports. The study, published in next month's issue of
Pediatrics but already online, found no association between BMI and attention to
video games or computers, despite the duration of use.
VITAMIN D: Vitamin D supplements can help obese children and teens control their
blood-sugar levels, which may help them stave off Type 2 diabetes, researchers
found in a study involving pre-diabetic obese children and adolescents in the
University of Missouri's Adolescent Diabetic Obesity Program.
"For clinicians, the main message from this research is to check the vitamin D
status of their obese patients, because they're likely to have insufficient
amounts," said Catherine Peterson, associate professor of nutrition and exercise
physiology. "Adding vitamin D supplements to their diets may be an effective
addition to treating obesity and its associated insulin resistance."
The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
-- Katy Muldoon
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