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Binge-Watchers, Sweet Tooths Heed This Advice

From eNewsletter 11/20/2019

DID YOU KNOW that a series of surveys conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) showed that, among all 2000 adults surveyed, 88% acknowledged losing sleep because they were staying up late "binge-watching" multiple episodes of a television show or streaming series?

This number climbed to 95% in those between 18 and 44 years old. In addition, half the respondents reported staying up past their bedtime to play video games and almost 60% stayed up late to watch sporting events. The latter was even more common among the men. Ironically, respondents ranked sleep as one of their most important priorities, second only to family.

The negative impact of late-night watching of all electronic devices goes beyond the number of hours of which the user is robbed of sleep. The light emitted from these devices can affect melatonin that, under ordinary circumstances, goes up at night, a signal that helps the body to fall asleep.

It's a good idea to stop using electronic devices at least one hour prior to bedtime. AASM recommends approximately 7 hours of sleep per night (6 being the minimum and 8 being the maximum).


Steve and Bonnie: We just finished with Halloween, the most sugar-laden celebration of the year. With Thanksgiving and the religious holidays almost upon us, there's no time like the present to remind you how important it is to eschew sugar whether in natural or artificial form. Unfortunately, in several major recent research studies, we do not seem to be eschewing it, especially in young children.

A new study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that 61 percent of infants and 98 percent of toddlers consumed added sugars in their average daily diets.

The serious and persistent problem with this is the early development of eating patterns associated with negative health conditions, as evidenced by an earlier study that found 6-year-olds who had consumed any sugar-sweetened beverage before the age of one were more than twice as likely to consume an sugar sweetened beverage at least once a day compared to 6-year-olds who had not consumed any before the age of one.

Infants consume about 1 teaspoon (tsp) of added sugars daily, while toddlers consume about 6 tsp of sugars, which is the amount recommended daily for adults.

The top food sources of added sugars for infants included yogurt, baby snacks and sweets, and sweet bakery products. For toddlers, the top sources included fruit drinks, sweet baked products, and sugar and candy.

Artificial Sweeteners

A new statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says there is insufficient evidence about the long-term safety of artificial sweeteners in children and adolescents and calls on food manufacturers to be more transparent about the presence of these substances on food labels.

The statement, published in a recent issue of Pediatrics, should serve as a warning to all because the AAP is extremely conservative and rarely steps out like this. It may have been because recent trends show an increase in consumption of artificial sweeteners by children.

Reminder About Soft Drinks

Lest we forget the devastating effects of soft drinks, even in young adults. In a new study from American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, long-term consumption of artificially sweetened beverages or sugar-sweetened beverages were associated with a greatly increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

In older adults, the prospects are not any better. A new study in JAMA Internal Medicine of over half a million Europeans found that consumption of sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened soft drinks was associated with a significantly increased number of all-cause deaths compared with those who did not consume soft drinks.

Please make a concerted effort to minimize your added sugar consumption this holiday season.


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