Screen time is also snack time

Junk Food TV

TV, computer use worse for kids’ health than other sedentary activities, study suggests, The Star, April 23, 2013

A worthwhile article that makes some well-known points, if with a few new twists. Another academic center has done research on kids and measured the connection between screen time and obesity. Only they’ve added in a new idea: contrasting the outcome of reading time versus screen time. The outcome: kids definitely do better in terms of weight if they read rather than veg in front of the tube.

Why is this? The authors are clear: Numerous studies have shown that kids eat a lot more when they sit in front of screen, and apparently not nearly as much when they’re reading.

The authors of the study also suggest that the problem is not just the child but also the family as a whole. The parents, after all, allow the kid to sit rapt by the screen and they are not encouraging the child, as much as they need to, to be involved either in more athletic
activities or in reading and studying. Also, the eating habits of the child are often emulations of the parents’ habits.

So the problem is multi-factorial, but screen time of more than two to three hours per day is significant and must be addressed more actively by parents and the society as a whole.