In a study conducted at the University of London found that children who spent three or more hours a day in front of television, tablet or computer screens were at a higher risk for developing diabetes.
According to the study, children who turned in play time for screen time scored higher on measures of body fat and had higher levels of resistance to insulin to peers who spent an hour or less engaging in sedentary activities.
Recently published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, the study analyzed data of almost 4,500 children between nine and 10 collected between 2004 and 2007 from the Child Heart and Health Study in England. Researchers looked at the length of time children spent watching TV or playing video or computer games. It took into consideration physical measurements, body fat and 2,031 of the children’s physical activity.
Children who reported spending three or more hours in front of the screen scored higher in levels of insulin after fasting, estimated insulin resistance and levels of leptin, a hormone that helps control appetite, all of which are associated with type 2 diabetes.
Parents should encourage their children to have an active lifestyle and eat healthy, balanced diet to help counteract screen time. Read the entire study here.