Obesity now affects 1 in 6 children and adolescents in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A clear and direct relationship exists, the more sedentary time, the greater the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. A 2015 study by nonprofit organization Common Sense Media found that US teens spend 6 hours 40 minutes per day on screens, including about two hours of TV, and younger kids spend just over 4.5 hours per day on screens. Even addiction occurs with video gaming, now a recognized disease, see DocHandal’s previous blog worth a read if you missed it.
Seems straightforward enough – more sitting (sedentary) a child the more likely obesity will set in. Sedentary behavior is not just screen time it encompasses is sitting in a car, reading a book, and sitting around ‘shooting the breeze’. Remember there are lots of sitting at school and that is unlikely to change.
Seems easy for parents to have an impact on.
No surprise the American Heart Association (AHA) has an Obesity Committee and they have published a recommendation. AHA Guidelines recommend screen time of fewer than 2 hours per day, no TVs or screens of any kind in the bedroom and during meals. Researchers are looking at sedentary behavior when variable physical activity is present. Stay tuned.
Device-free time’ is new mantra while pushing children outdoors. Also, parents need to do it!
Get out with your kids!