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Studies Reveal: Late Bedtime Linked to Weight Gain in Teens

** ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY, SEPT. 28 ** Angel Moreno, 14, who weighs 71.5 kg, or 156.528 lb, gets a check-up at Mexico's Children's Hospital in Mexico City, Friday, Aug. 29, 2008. Mexico is on track to surpass the United States as one of the world's fattest countries by 2018. Nearly half of Mexico's 110 million people already are overweight, while the number of fat children has climbed 8 percent a year in the last decade. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)

A new study has discovered a link between staying up late at night and having a higher body mass index (BMI) in teenagers.

Specifically, the findings show that teens who go to bed late on weeknights are more likely to gain weight compared to those who go to sleep earlier. This late-bedtime link remained consistent regardless of how many hours the teens actually slept.

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, analyzed longitudinal data from a national sample group of more than 3,300 youths and adults, and found that for every extra hour they stayed awake, they gained 2.1 points on the BMI index. This gain occurred roughly over a five-year period.

The Berkeley study analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which has tracked the influences and behaviors of U.S. teenagers since 1994. Focusing on three time periods — the onset of puberty, the college-age years and young adulthood — researchers compared the bedtimes and BMI of teens from 1994 to 2009. Source: Psych Central

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