Updated 3 months, 1 week ago

Smartphones, tablets and weight gain in teens

As teens turn to handheld digital devices for their entertainment, they are just as much at risk of being fat and having an unhealthy lifestyle as if they were plonked in front of the TV.

Researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston suggest that teens who used screen devices for five or more hours daily have a high risk of obesity.

Those teens who went under the research showed a 43 percent increased risk of obesity compared with kids who are not into smartphones or tablets at all. Nonetheless, the study did not prove that high use gadgets will cause obesity risk to rise.

The activity of using the devices itself is not the reason for gaining extra weight but the tendency to consume greater sugary drinks, fast foods, and then salty and sweet snacks. And the more the big kid's pause, not move, and just let their fingers and eyes work, especially when sitting, their body organs will fail to operate normally.

Dr Kenney, from Harvard said: "The types of screens that youths use have changed rapidly. Smartphone use now makes up the majority of screen engagement among teens, and most youth, even younger children, have their own device; a recent study found over one-half of three year olds had been given their own tablet."

Years ago, kids would play in the playground at recess or come home after school and play in their yards or on the sidewalk. It's not a surprise that childhood obesity is on the rise, since to some extent virtual games have replaced real-time play and interaction, and physical activity has been relegated to fingers and thumbs.

This study would suggest that limiting children's and adolescents' engagement with other screen devices may be as important for health as limiting television time.

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