Teen’s Sugar and Caffeine Intakes Rise As Screen Time Increases
According to a study released on October 22 by PLOS One, teens who are spending a lot of time watching television or using their cell phones tend to eat foods that have more sugar and caffeine drinks. This has been linked to their extended time using such electronics and can lead to obesity, diabetes, and caries as well as other health issues.
In spite of the increased energy drink consumption and soda consumption, nearly 27% of them have exceeded their dietary intake of sugar and nearly 21% have exceeded the suggested daily caffeine levels per researchers.
Findings further suggest that watching television and using cell phones are also associated with increased sugar and caffeine intake. This study was led by Kelly Bradbury, Department Of Pediatrics a researcher at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.
Sugar and Caffeine
Can Contribute to Obesity and More
In spite of the decline in the consumption of sugary beverages and energy drinks, there are still serious consequences to this overindulgence. Beverages of this type can lead to a variety of negative health consequences including more cavities, wear and tear on teeth, poor sleep habits and obesity.
According to researchers, nearly 32,400 eighths through 10th-grade students in nearly 250 schools were selected randomly across the United States for the study. The students were all between the ages of 13 and 16 years old. Data was pulled from a cross-section from 2013 through 2016 and monitored for the survey.
Per the findings, even an extra hour of television daily was contributing to their consumption of 14 grams or more of sugar on a daily basis. Video games, cell phone use, social media, and other electronic activities were found to be associated with an increased 8.2 grams of daily sugar intake.
The Longer the Teens Are on Electronics, The More Caffeine They Tend to Consume
Caffeine was at about 16.9 mg higher for every hour of electronic use, specifically television and 21.9 mg higher with cell phone use according to the research. For every additional hour of electronic time, there was a 32% greater incidence of exceeding the daily recommendations for such sugar intake and as much as a 28% higher risk of exceeding the caffeine’s daily recommendations. Interestingly, video ‘gamers’ showed very little increase in sugar and caffeine intake researchers discovered.
There were a few limitations, however, the researchers found that the sources for the sugar and caffeine intake were limited to energy drinks and sodas. Content per drink was approximately based on the average content of beverages and didn’t include specific brands. The overall caffeine intake may also be skewed due to the fact that it didn’t’ include some beverages like tea or coffee per the researchers.
Keeping this in mind, clinicians should make teens more aware of the importance of healthy beverages and sugar intake as well as caffeine intake. Counseling and health promotion could have a huge impact on helping to reduce the use of sugar and caffeine for this population.
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