Do sleep-deprived adolescents make less-healthy food choices?

Br J Nutr. 2014 May 28;111(10):1898-904. doi: 10.1017/S0007114514000130. Epub 2014 Feb 13.


Short sleep duration among children and adolescents has been reported to be associated with elevated BMI and other adverse health outcomes. Food choices are one proposed mechanism through which this association may occur. In the present study, we examined whether self-reported habitual sleep duration is associated with vegetable and fruit consumption and fast food consumption. Using cross-sectional data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (n 13,284), we estimated three nested logistic regression models for two outcome variables: daily vegetable and fruit consumption and previous week's fast food consumption. The adjusted models included demographic and social/behavioural covariates. Self-reported habitual short sleep duration ( < 7 h/night) was associated with reduced odds of vegetable and fruit consumption compared with the recommended sleep duration (>8 h/night) (OR 0·66, P <0·001), even after adjusting for demographic and social/behavioural factors (OR 0·75, P <0·001). Short sleep duration was also associated with increased odds of fast food consumption (OR 1·40, P <0·001) even after adjustment (OR 1·20, P <0·05). Food choices are significantly associated with sleep duration and may play an important role in the mediation of the association between sleep and health among adolescents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Choice Behavior / physiology*
  • Fast Foods / statistics & numerical data
  • Feeding Behavior / physiology*
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Male
  • National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sleep Deprivation / psychology*
  • Vegetables
  • Young Adult