Teenagers who stay up late are at risk of health problems such as diabetes because they eat more sugar when tired, a study has suggested.

Researchers followed the eating patterns of young people over a week when they slept for 6.5 hours a night, and a week when they slept for 9.5.

While they consumed roughly the same amount of calories during both phases, they ate fewer fruits and vegetables and more of the types of foods that cause a spike in blood sugar when they’d had less sleep.

It meant that when the teenagers were tired they ate an extra 12 grams of added sugar a day on average – the equivalent of three extra teaspoons.

Researchers followed the eating patterns of young people over a week when they slept for 6.5 hours a night, and a week when they slept for 9.5 (stock image)

Researchers followed the eating patterns of young people over a week when they slept for 6.5 hours a night, and a week when they slept for 9.5 (stock image)

Researchers followed the eating patterns of young people over a week when they slept for 6.5 hours a night, and a week when they slept for 9.5 (stock image)

Dr Kara Duraccio, the study’s lead author from Brigham Young University in the US, said the ‘types’ of calories we consume, rather than just the amount, was important.

‘When we consume a diet that is high in foods that spike our blood sugar quickly e.g. foods high in carbohydrates or added sugars, it negatively impacts energy balance and increases fat deposits, which can result in weight gain,’ she said.

‘We also know that regularly consuming [such] foods increases the risk of developing cardiometabolic diseases.’ These include heart attacks, strokes, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes.

Dr Duraccio added: ‘We suspect that tired teens are looking for quick bursts of energy to keep them going until they can go to bed.’

The study, which followed 93 teenagers aged 14-17, was published in the journal Sleep.

It meant that when the teenagers were tired they ate an extra 12 grams of added sugar a day on average – the equivalent of three extra teaspoons (stock image)

It meant that when the teenagers were tired they ate an extra 12 grams of added sugar a day on average – the equivalent of three extra teaspoons (stock image)

It meant that when the teenagers were tired they ate an extra 12 grams of added sugar a day on average – the equivalent of three extra teaspoons (stock image)

Source: Daily Mail

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