Study Links Too Much Screen Time in Children With Diabetes Risk
According to British researchers, there is a definite link between the amount of time a child spends in front of a screen each day and risk for type 2 diabetes. The (CHASE) included a detailed examination of the association between daily screen time and body fatness in children. From 2004 to 2007, researchers from the University of London and the University of Glasgow gathered data from approximately 4,500 schoolchildren around the age of 10 years.
Higher Body Fat, Insulin Resistance with Longer Screen Times
For the study, detailed body and blood measurements were taken for each participant, and the kids were asked how much time they spent watching television or using gaming systems or computers each day. The CHASE researchers determined that children who engaged in more than three hours of daily screen time had higher body fat measurements and insulin resistance compared to those kids who spent an hour or less in front of a screen per day.
The most common screen time duration reported among study participants was one hour or less (37%), with 18% of children reporting more than three hours and 4% reporting no screen time at all.
Despite Study Limitations, Limits on Screen Time Recommended
Limitations to the study include the age of the data, which was gathered before the use of smartphones and tablets became widespread among older children. Children may now be spending increased time in front of electronic devices. In addition, children in the study may have not remembered or reported screen time accurately.
Despite limitations, the CHASE study suggests that limits on screen time may improve children’s health and reduce their risk for type 2 diabetes and other diseases related to obesity.
The study also supports current recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to limit kids’ total screen time to one to two hours per day, and ensure participation in at least one hour of physical activity each day. Developing healthy habits now will help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes later in life.
Parents: Monitor Your Child’s Health
If you have a concern about your child’s health, talk to a board-certified clinician at RediClinic, located inside select Rite Aid Pharmacies and H-E-B stores. Our team can conduct a comprehensive health screening to evaluate overall health and diabetes risk. We treat patients ages 18 months and older.