Thursday, 16 March 2017

Too much time with TV increases chances of diabetes in kids – Study

Children who get too much screen time may be more likely to have risk factors that increase their chances of Type Two diabetes, a new research had said.

Watching television, playing video games or sitting in front of a computer or other devices for more than three hours each day was linked to more body fat and insulin resistance. Those factors mean the body was less likely to keep blood sugar levels under control, the British researchers said.

The study said limiting children’s screen time could be necessary to prevent health issues
later on. “Our findings suggest that reducing screen time may be beneficial in reducing Type Two diabetes risk factors in both boys and girls and in different ethnic groups from an early age,” wrote the study authors, led by Claire Nightingale, from St. George’s University of London.

“This is particularly relevant, given rising levels of Type Two diabetes, the early emergence of Type Two diabetes risk and recent trends suggesting that screen time-related activities are increasing in childhood and may pattern screen-related behaviours in later life,” the researchers said.

Previous research had shown that adults who spend excessive amounts of time in front of a TV or computer set are at greater risk for weight gain and Type Two diabetes, Nightingale’s group explained. Since young people are increasingly using devices such as tablets and smartphones, the study authors investigated if this risk also applied to children. The study included health information on nearly 4,500 children between nine and 10 years old.

The youngsters were from three cities in the United Kingdom – Birmingham, Leicester and London. The children’s cholesterol, insulin resistance, fasting blood sugar levels, markers of inflammation, blood pressure and body fat were measured.

The kids were also asked to detail their daily use of televisions, computers, video games and other devices. About four per cent of the children never watched TV or used an electronic device. Slightly more than one-third reported getting less than one hour of screen time each day.

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