News: Child Diabetes Risk Soars With 3-hrs Screen Time A Day

Screen Time And Obesity

Screen time is associated with obesity and insulin resistance in children.

Youngsters who look at screens for more than three hours a day are fatter and have greater insulin resistance, which occurs when cells fail to respond to insulin, as well as an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

This screen time is applied to TV, tablets, mobile phones, games consoles and computers with under-fives in Britain spending over four hours and older children averaging over five and a half hours a day according to the communications watchdog Ofcom in the 2016 report Children and parents: media use and attitudes report 2016.

A new study released by St George's, University of London, monitoring 4,500 children from 200 primary schools in London, Birmingham, and Leicester, suggests that children with more than three hours screen time a day were showing warning signs of type 2 diabetes, according to the study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood journal.

Compared with those who spent less than an hour of a day in front of screens, they had 3.3 per cent more body fat and 10.5 per cent higher insulin resistance

The researchers wrote:

“Our findings suggest that reducing screen time may be beneficial in reducing type 2 diabetes risk factors, in both boys and girls, from an early age. This is particularly relevant, given rising levels of type 2 diabetes, the early emergence of type 2 diabetes risk, and recent trends suggesting screen-related activities are increasing in childhood.”
— Dr Claire Nightingale, Research Fellow

Source: Nightingale CM, Rudnicka AR, Donin AS, et al "Screen time is associated with adiposity and insulin resistance in children", Archives of Disease in Childhood Published Online First: 13 March 2017. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2016-312016