Screen time linked to childhood weight gain
ALLOWING children to spend hours staring at screens puts them at risk of piling on the pounds, research suggests.
Every extra hour a day that children spend in front of a television, computer or tablet increases their odds of becoming overweight by 1 per cent, according to a study of 4,300 youngsters aged two to 11.
Lack of sleep also plays a role, with each hour of reduced sleep resulting in a 23 per cent increased risk of a child becoming overweight. The researchers, from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, stressed that the two things go hand in hand, with children who are glued to mobile phones or games consoles likely to spend far less time asleep.
The findings, presented at the European and International Congress on Obesity, come at a time of booming use of devices with screens.
Britons aged eight to 19 spend about 44 hours a week looking at screens.