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4 Your Health: sleep deprivation effect on children; parental supervision of alcohol doesn't work

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Allowing teens to drink alcohol with parental supervision does not prevent them from drinking elsewhere.

Researchers conducted a study in Australia, where it is common for parents to introduce teens to alcohol. Teens whose parents allowed them to drink, were more likely to get alcohol from other sources than teens not provided with alcohol. And those who got alcohol from their parents and others, were more likely to binge drink and abuse alcohol by the age of 18.

Obesity and lack of sleep

Children's sleep habits may affect their eating habits and weight.

A new study from Virginia Commonwealth University found kids who slept the least had a higher risk of obesity. And the quality of sleep was also important. Children with fluctuating bedtimes or irregular sleep patterns were more likely to eat when they were not hungry.

Most teens not getting enough sleep

New data from the CDC shows nearly 58 percent of middle schoolers and 73 percent of high school students don't get the recommended hours of sleep.

Research has shown sleep deprivation can increase the risk for obesity, diabetes, injury, mental illness and attention problems in kids and teens. Many experts say school start times should be delayed to allow students more time to sleep.

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