Unhealthy food choices

It is generally accepted that obesity can arise when the number of calories consumed is greater than the amount expended.

Diet and physical activity play a huge part in this, but there is now evidence of a third important factor. According to research from the University of Chicago short or poor quality sleep is linked to increased risk of obesity by “de-regulating appetite, leading to increased energy consumption.”

The University obtained evidence from experimental and observational sleep studies and found associations between getting fewer than six hours sleep and increased body mass index (BMI) or obesity. Therefore lack of sleep affects judgment when it comes to our food choices.

It stands to reason that when we have adequate amounts of sleep, we’re more likely to feel less tired and have more energy and if we have more energy, we’re more likely to think and feel differently about what we eat.

Now that we know a lack of sleep can affect our ability to choose healthy food, on a conscious level we should be able to control what and how we choose what we eat. Whilst I haven’t always slept, I am still aware of my choices and lifestyle because they are important to me.

Being aware of what makes a healthy diet is very important and may go some way to helping us make better choices. Wanting to have a healthier lifestyle, has a big part to play in our perceptions of healthy foods and what we eat. We should all be thinking consciously about our foods habits, so that we eat more healthy foods.

Although I agree with the findings, I also believe that other issues should be addressed if they are to make a difference to the bigger picture or not.


9 Jul, 2012

4 thoughts on “Unhealthy food choices

  1. I would agree with this. It makes sense that when we are tired we are less likely to watch what we eat, simply because we will be less inclined to shop and cook properly.

    Knowing this is half the battle and implementing good food choices is the other!

    1. I believe that now the findings have been made public, it would be up to us as individuals to make sure we look after ourselves, instead of using the research as an excuse not to. Sitting back and making unwise choices because it’s legitimate, will cause us to have long term health problems.

      Of course it’s all common sense, but it’s always been up to the individual to implement and watch what we eat and incorporate good food choices into our diets, regardless of whether we are deprived of sleep or not.

      I still believe the more educated we are on nutrition, the better choices we will make, we just have to make ourselves consciously aware of our bad habits!

  2. I did find this mentioned in my studies of nutrition that poor sleep can affect weight.

    I think that if we are tired from lack of sleep we don’t feel like preparing the healthiest meals, we just automatically go for the “fast food” or quickest bite to eat.

    We in America have become fast food junkies since the introduction of the microwave. Our nutrition has spiralled down terribly with the “quick meals”.

    I have been eating more and preparing more fresh foods for my husband and me. I also keep fresh fruits like blueberries or other berries in the fridge for a quick pick me up snack and I believe we both feel better since we started doing this.

    We hardly ever eat out maybe 2 times a year and rarely stop at fast food places. I have problems sleeping but I’ve learned to control my nutritional habits, so I’m not really affected by the lack of sleep.

    I do think they need to research other areas of health that are affected by lack of sleep.

    1. Maybe in time their will be more research around sleep.

      I agree with you. I believe we can control our nutritional habits by consciously being aware of what they are and being more hands on when it comes to cooking and preparing fresh food.

      As a nation we can be lazy about food. If we can make things easier for ourselves that’s what we tend to do, but that really needs to change.

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