The Internet, Alcohol, and Sleep: Factors That May Contribute to Weight Gain in Adolescent Girls
New study published in The Journal of Pediatrics
Cincinnati, OH, July 9, 2008 - Girls moving through adolescence may experience unhealthy levels of weight gain, but the reasons for this are not always clear. In fact, many potential causes of weight gain are easily overlooked. A new study soon to be published in The Journal of Pediatrics analyzes the effect of Internet usage, sleep, and alcohol and coffee consumption on weight gain in adolescent girls.
Dr. Catherine Berkey and colleagues from Harvard Medical School, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, and Washington University led the Growing Up Today Study (GUTS), which surveyed more than 5000 girls between the ages of 14 and 21 years from all 50 states. They asked the girls to reflect on their weekly habits over the past year and report the following: 1) hours of sleep per night; 2) time spent on the Internet (excluding time for work or school); 3) number of alcoholic beverages consumed; and 4) number of coffee beverages consumed. The girls also reported their height and weight at the beginning and end of the one-year study.
The researchers found that more Internet time, more alcohol consumption, and less sleep resulted in extra weight gain during the study year. 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. The researchers did not find a link between coffee consumption and weight gain, although they point out that this information was collected before high calorie coffee drinks became popular.
The authors suggest that recreational Internet time, alcohol consumption, and lack of sleep may go unnoticed as causes of gradual weight gain. Dr. Berkey expressed concern that “these behaviors may promote gradual gains in body weight, but the girls and their parents may not understand why.” To help maintain a healthy body weight, she encourages adolescent girls to replace recreational Internet time with more sleep, and avoid alcoholic beverage consumption.
# # #
Notes to Editors:
The study is reported in “Weight Gain in Older Adolescent Females: The Internet, Sleep, Coffee, and Alcohol” by Catherine S. Berkey, ScD, Helaine R.H. Rockett, MS, RD, Graham A. Colditz, MD, DrPH. The article appears in The Journal of Pediatrics, DOI 10.1016/j.jpeds.2008.04.072, published by Elsevier.
Full text of the article is available upon request; contact Brigid Huey, 513-636-7140, email@example.com to obtain copies.
About The Journal of Pediatrics
The Journal of Pediatrics is a primary reference for the science and practice of pediatrics and its subspecialties. This authoritative resource of original, peer-reviewed articles oriented toward clinical practice helps physicians stay abreast of the latest and ever-changing developments in pediatric medicine. The Journal of Pediatrics is ranked 3rd out of 78 pediatric medical journals (2007 Journal Citation Reports, published by ThomsonReuters).
Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Elsevier Research Intelligence,and ClinicalKey—and publishes over 2,200 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and over 25,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works.
The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a world leading provider of professional information solutions in the Science, Medical, Legal and Risk and Business sectors, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).
+1 513 636 7140