Children & Teens

Is childhood obesity and screen time linked?

A recent study examined the effects of recreational screen time on the weight of children.

In recent years, childhood obesity has increased at such a high rate that it is now becoming a major global health challenge Many factors contribute to obesity, including low exercise levels and an increase in inactive behaviours.

A recent Finnish study investigated the links between childhood obesity and screen time. In this study, researchers used the Finnish Health in Teens data (Fin-HIT), which included data from 10,000 children from Finland, aged between 9 and 12 years.

The results of the study were published in Scientific Reports. The children within the study were asked to report the amount of time they spent watching television and using a computer outside of school hours. The height, weight and waist circumference were also documented for each child.

The study found that high screen time is associated with overweight and abdominal obesity. There was no difference seen between different ages, genders, native languages, sleep, or exercise duration.

Written by Jade Evans, MPharm

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