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Reasons for Weight Gain in Adolescent Girls

By Daniel H. Rasolt

Posted: Wednesday, July 09, 2008

(Defeat Diabetes® News) -- Adolescence is often a time of unhealthy weight gain, and this is likely not solely because of natural changes in one's body. A recent study has looked at four potential weight gain factors in adolescent girls: alcohol consumption, sleeping schedules, coffee consumption and internet usage.
5000 girls 14 to 21 years of age participated in the study, which was part of a larger effort known as the Growing Up Today Study (GUTS). The girls were questioned as to how many alcoholic beverages they consumed per week, how many hours of sleep they typically got per night, number of coffee drinks per week, and how much non school-related internet time each typically used. The answers were to reflect the past year of each girls life.
As might be expected, more alcohol, internet and less sleep, all reflected higher levels of weight gain. Coffee consumption was not found to directly correlate with weight gain. The study concluded that "girls aged 18 years or older who consumed 2 or more alcoholic beverages a week or slept less than 6 hours a night gained more weight than other study participants. In fact, when combined with Internet use, girls in this group have the potential to gain four extra pounds a year."
Early life weight gain can lead to very serious complications later in life. More often than not, being overweight or obese in adolescence translates to being overweight or obese in adulthood. This greatly increases the risk for heart disease and diabetes, and early alcohol consumption could lay the foundations for liver disease. This study suggests that young girls should spend more time exercising and sleeping, and less time at the computer and drinking.

Source: Defeat Diabetes Foundation: Huey, Brigid. The Journal of Pediatrics news release. July 2008.

Daniel H. Rasolt writes for Defeat Diabetes® News. Read more of his original content articles.

Copyright © 2008 Defeat Diabetes Foundation, Inc. All rights reserved.

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