More screen time in children linked to higher rates of child obesity

The more preoccupation that occurs through screen time use in children, the higher the risk of child obesity, new research has shown.

The study, released in Pediatric Obesity, examined children aged 9 to 10, and their consumption of electronic devices, including the use of television streaming, YouTube videos, video gaming, and texting.

The BMI scores of more than 11,000 children were examined based on height and weight. The participants were part of the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development Study.

What researchers found was that for each additional hour spent preoccupied with digital devices, the higher the body mass index a year later.

“We analyzed prospective cohort data from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study. Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to estimate associations between baseline screen time behaviours (exposure) and BMI percentile at 1-year follow-up, adjusting for race/ethnicity, sex, household income, parent education, depression, binge-eating disorder and baseline BMI percentile,” researchers stated in their journal report.

“Each additional hour of total screen time per week was prospectively associated with a 0.22 higher BMI percentile at 1-year follow-up (95% CI 0.10–0.34) after adjusting for covariates,” the report states.

“Screen time is prospectively associated with a higher BMI percentile 1 year later among children 9–10 years old.”