Senior author Dr. Susan Redline of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston links shorter sleep to chronically altered dietary patterns in teens.
"The relative increase in fat consumption among shorter sleepers by 2.2 percent per day chronically may contribute to cumulative increases in energy consumption that would be expected to increase risk for obesity and cardiovascular disease," Redline says in a statement.
The study, published in the journal Sleep, finds teens sleeping less than 8 hours per weeknight eat higher proportions of fatty foods and snacks than those getting 8 hours sleep or more. For each 1-hour increase in sleep duration, the odds of consuming a high amount of calories from snacks went down 21 percent.
Redline and colleagues looked at eating habits of 240 teens ages 16-19 in the ongoing Cleveland Children's Sleep and Health Study at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital in Cleveland.