Following a study carried out by Columbia University and the
University of North Carolina, teenagers who regularly get less than
six hours of sleep a night are 20 per cent more likely to be obese
when they get older.

The study, which took data from over 10,000 Americans aged 16 and
then again at 21, found that those who got at least eight hours of
sleep on average, had gained less weight.

The American Center for Disease Control and Prevention, who were
involved in the study, actually recommended that teens should be
getting as much as nine to ten hours of sleep a night in order to
prevent obesity in later life.

Shakira Suglia, assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia
University, believes that a good night's sleep not only helps teens
to stay alert at school but also ensures they develop into healthy
adults. She added, "Once you're an obese adult, it is much harder
to lose weight and keep it off. And the longer you are obese, the
greater your risk for health problems like heart disease, diabetes,
and cancer."