Washington, July 9 : A new study has shown that more Internet time, more alcohol consumption, and less sleep are contributing to weight gain in teenage girls.
The survey, involving more than 5000 girls between the ages of 14 and 21 years from all 50 states, 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.
Lead researcher Dr. Catherine Berkey from Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital, expressed concern that "these behaviours 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.