Screentime linked to greater diabetes risk among children
Children who are allowed more than three hours of screentime a day are at greater risk of developing diabetes, new research suggests.
The study found that children who were glued to their screens for three or more hours a day scored higher on measures of body fat and had higher levels of resistance to the hormone insulin than their peers who spent an hour or less watching TV, videos or playing computer games.
But the authors cautioned that the research does not show that increased screentime itself results in raised levels of risk factors for the disease.
“Screentime could be capturing something about your behaviours – how much sedentary time you have and how much you break that up [or] what your dietary habits [are], potentially,” said Claire Nightingale, a medical statistician at St George’s, University of London and co-author of the research.
Writing in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, Nightingale and colleagues described how they sought to probe whether for children, as is known for adults, screentime is linked to an increase in risk factors for type 2 diabetes. To do so, they analysed data from the Child Heart and Health Study in England – a survey carried out between 2004 and 2007 of almost 4,500 children, aged between nine and 10, from primary schools in three UK cities: London, Birmingham and Leicester.
Among the questions asked, data was collected on the length of time the children spent watching TV, video games or playing computer games. A host of physical measurements were also taken including measures of the children’s body fat and resis Continue reading