Published: Jun 19, 2014 10:05 AM EDT

Sugar and caffeine and how they affect men and women, adolescents and adults, have been in the news this week.

Adolescent Brains Process Sugar Differently than Adult Brains:  

Adolescents: increased blood flow

Adults: decreased blood flow

Area of brain involved: reward-motivation and decision-making

Different responses to glucose in regards to behavior.


Importance of Research:  

Adolescents = highest consumers of dietary added sugars.

Can help adolescents with decisions.

Can help adolescents with motivation/follow-through.


Fat Cell Composition in Lean and Obese Children and Adolescents:  

Obese children = increase in the number of fat cells.

Obese children = larger fat cells size

Obese children = fat cells don't function well.

Signs of inflammation.

Occurs as young as six-years-old.


Importance of Research:  

Inflammation leads to:          

Insulin Resistance


High Blood Pressure


Caffeine Affects Males and Females Differently: 

Focus = after puberty Caffeine increases blood pressure Caffeine decreases heart rate


Previous Studies on Caffeine:  

Boys 12-17 years = more energy

Boys 12-17 years = greater athletic performance

Boys 12-17 years = increased blood pressure

Boys 12-17 years = decreased heart rate 


New Study on Caffeine:  

No gender differences = prepubertal 'Old' results were postpubertal.

Menstrual cycle affects caffeine affects.

Hormonal influences thought to be the reason.