Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Spending Hours On Phones Is Just As Bad As TV For Children's Health


Hours spent on a smartphone are just as bad for children’s health as being glued to the television, a Harvard study suggests.

Those who spend more than five hours a day on gadgets see their chance of obesity rise by 43 per cent, the study shows.

Such children were also twice as likely to consume sugary drinks, get too little exercise and suffer sleep deprivation. The study tracked 25,000 youngsters aged 14 to 18.

Lead researcher Dr Erica Kenney said: “Using smartphones, tablets, computers, and videogames is associated with several obesity risk factors.

“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.”

The study is published in the Journal of Paediatrics. Research suggests that today’s teenagers spend far more time on handheld devices than watching television.

Ofcom figures show those aged between five and 15 spend 15 hours a week online compared with around 13 and a half hours watching a TV set.

Latest figures show record levels of obesity, with one in three obese or overweight by the end of primary school.

Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said smartphones should be “off limits” before breakfast and after dinner.

“Tablets are nothing but personal TV’s and rules governing screentime should be as stringent as for TV,” he said.

“Daytime use should be reasonable but sparing. And from bedtime to breakfast they should be off limits,” he said, urging parents to put up with more “tears and tantrums” for the good of their child’s health.



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