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Friday, November 23, 2012

Electronic gadgets behind child obesity!

Photo: STAR

Experts are constantly warning us that the digital revolution is making our children ill. According to them, the constant overload of information could be triggering mental health problems. Paul Veugelers, a Canadian public health professor said, "If you want your kids to sleep better and live a healthier life, get the technology out of the bedroom." He led a study of nearly 3,400 Grade 5 students in the province of Alberta which showed that as little as one hour of additional sleep decreased the odds of being overweight or obese by around 30 per cent. The recent study also confirmed a link between getting less sleep and having electronic gadgets in the bedroom. Half of the students had a TV, DVD player or video game console in their bedroom; 21 per cent had computer; and 17 per cent had cell phone. Five per cent of students had all three types of devices. 57 per cent of students use electronics when they should be sleeping.

The researchers found that students with access to one electronic device were 1.47 times likely to be overweight compared to kids with no devices in the bedroom. Kids with three devices are 2.57 times more likely to be overweight. Researchers found that more sleep led to significantly more physical activity and better diet choices. The problem is that most parents do not comprehend the damage electronic gadgets can do. Nevertheless, it is time parents understood the consequences.

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