As end-of-year stress starts to pile up, experts have issued a reminder that caffeine, junk food and sugary drinks are more of a hinderance than a help when it comes to coping with stress.
New research from YouthInsight has shown that many Australian students turn to caffeine, sugary drinks or junk food to cope with exam stresses, which could put not only their performance in exams, but also their mental health at risk.
Reach Out Australia CEO Ashley De Silva told the Hit newsroom that while comfort foods are appealing during stressful times, it's important to nourish your body with healthy food.
"It can be very tempting to rely on things like sugar and caffeine for a quick fix, but the reality is that without a balanced diet, students are more likely to crash and burn," he said.
Things for parents to look out for during this time include changes in social patterns or sleep patterns, which could flag that extra assistance is needed.
"Are they still catching up with friends? Are they taking study breaks? Are they getting enough sleep? Basics like exercise, sleep and a balanced diet are really important parts of maintaining your mental health.
"So it is a concern to see that these are the things they are sacrificing right at the time when they need it the most."